Mission San Rafael Arcángel

San Rafael, California. Mission San Rafael Arcángel was established in 1817 as a hospital for Mission Dolores in San Francisco. People who fell ill at the San Francisco mission found healing in the warmer climate that San Rafael provided. The hospital was so successful that, in 1822, the site received full Mission status.  A small museum is located in the gift shop and displays artifacts from the Mission era. The only artifact from the mission itself is the mission bell.

Many of the missions have talked about the illnesses that the Native Americans experienced. With the immigrating Europeans came many diseases that these people had never experienced and from which their bodies had no résistance. Many could not survive these diseases and the population of the native people suffered greatly. Once again we see the unintended consequences that exploration and colonization had on indigenous civilizations and environments. I wonder how this applies to us today and what we have learned from history.

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