Cataratas del Iguazu

San Ignacio Jesuit Mission - Wanda mine - Iguazu Falls

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Ruins of Jesuit Mission of San Ignacio

Approximately 30 miles or 50 kilometers from Posadas, towards Puerto Iguazu, San Ignacio Miní was one of the most prosperous Jesuit missions, partly restored by the Argentine Government.
San Ignacio Mini was founded in 1610 in the Guaira area, currently state border between Parana and São Paulo, Brazil. The fathers José Cataldino and Simón Masseta built this mission and the mission of Loreto near the Paranapanema river.

In 1631 after the attack of the bandeirantes, father Antonio Ruiz de Montoya starts an exodus to save the survivors. With approximately 12.000 Indians he sails down the Paraná river. After a hard trip, about 4000 surviving Indians reach the banks of the Yabebirí river, tributary of the Paraná, now province of Misiones, Argentina. Due to the inadequate conditions of the place, they look for a third place to establish (1695/1696), what are currently the ruins of San Ignacio Miní. In 1816, with the Jesuits already expelled, general José de Artigas organized his armies and makes Andrés Guacurari, a Guarani Indian known as Andresito as one of the commanders. As five of the Paraná reductions has been occupied by the Paraguayan armies of Dr Francia, Andresito and his Guarani armies take it over. Dr Francia then restarted the attack and totally destroyed the missions.

Wanda precious stones mine

Bed of Semi-Precious Stones: Hundred years ago, in this region, the lava out cropped through the fissures of the earth. Those running of incandescent materials appeared with such a pressure that they made bubbles. A quick cooling created the crystals in their innards, all of them in pyramidal hexagonal shapes made of amethyst quartz and agates which are used in jewelry business.

"Wanda" has a mine in the open air from where geodes and solidified bubbles are taken out. Thirty people work there and half of them are mine operators. Some objects with incrustations of these stones, necklaces, pendants and earrings are sold there.