Wednesday, September 2, 2009


The Mission San Juan Capistrano has a beautiful series of gardens scattered over its property.

One thing the (still Catholic Church consecrated) Mission is short on is accurate history.  The gardens are so quiet and peaceful, and the presentations in the mission museum paint a romantic picture of pastoral community.  In reality, the Spanish enslaved the native population to build the place, and essentially wiped out the local Juaneno culture.  What little was left was paved over by American settlers.

Orange County has always been friendly to the forces of development, and these forces almost always win.  A recent victory against the developers, however, was the nixing of a highway that was to blast its way through a state park, treasured surf spot, endangered species habitat and archeological site south of San Clemente.  The fact that it was even proposed shows how weak opposition usually is in the face of a money making proposal.

To learn more about the native heritage of Orange County, efforts to preserve what little is left of it, and of the natural environment in Southern OC, check out the local division of the Sierra Club or the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

1 comment:

  1. Mission San Juan Capistrano is a favorite of mine. Love how you tied in the mission story to that of modern development.