Mission Santa Ines is located Solvang, California. It is interesting that the first Europeans to build here were the Spaniards, but the town of Solvang was established by Danish people. At the Mission we met a pastor named father Burke who is from Ireland . Our country sure is a melting pot for many different cultures!
"Ines " is the Spanish version of the name "Agnes." Saint Agnes was a Christian who was killed in Rome back when the Romans really didn't like Christians. There is a town a little bit south of Solvang called Santa Ynez. there are still some Chumash Indian s living in this town. We think that "Ynez" is the way that the Indians like to spell "Ines."
There is also an Indian reservation right next to Santa Ynez. When we rode past this reservation we noticed that the Indians have built a big casino for gambling there. Gambling and casinos are not legal in California, but the government decided very rece ntly to allow gambling on some Indian reservations. In many places the Indians are using the money that they make in their casinos to buy back the land that the European colonists took from them.
Today was a special day at Mission Santa Ines. Once a year a group called the "Rancheros Visitadores" visits the Mission. The "Rancheros" is a group of men and women who own very expensive horses and enjoy cowboy and wild west traditions. Every year they do a special ride that takes them to several old ranches in California. They always come to Mission Santa Ines to be blessed by the priest there before they continue on their journey.
We talked with a famous ranchero named Charlie Sample. This man is 93 years old. (Charlie is the man you see in our picture of Mission Santa Ines.) He told us that the first time he visited Mission Santa Ines was in 1919. His grandmother had sent him to d eliver the lima beans that she grew to a place called the Sisquak ranch. When Charlie got to the Mission the priest there convinced him to give the beans to the Church rather than sell them to the Sisquak Ranch. The priest needed these beans to help feed the Indians who were living at the Mission.
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