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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coat of arms
Divisions 17 departments
Coordinates 26°30′S 54°12′W / 26.5°S 54.2°W / -26.5; -54.2
Capital Posadas
Area 29,801 km2 (11,506 sq mi)
Population 1,077,987 (2008)
Density 32.4 /km2 (84 /sq mi)
Governor Maurice Closs
ISO 3166-2 code AR-N
Demonym Misionero
Senators Eduardo Torres, Elida Vigo, Luis Viana

Misiones is one of the 23 provinces of Argentina, located in the northeastern corner of the country in the Mesopotamia region. It is surrounded by Paraguay to the northwest, Brazil to the north, east and south, and Corrientes Province of Argentina to the southwest.

Iguazú Falls, the world's largest by volume.



1846 impression of San Ignacio Miní, a Jesuit Reduction forcibly abandoned following the temporary abolition of the order in 1773.

The province was originally populated by the Guarani culture. The first European to visit the region was Sebastian Cabot who, while navigating the Paraná River in December of 1527, found Apipé's falls. In 1541, Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca reached the Iguazú Falls.

In the 17th century, members of the Society of Jesus came to the zone. These missionaries began to build a string of Jesuit Reductions, that of San Ignacio being the most famous. In a few years, they managed to create 30 villages, wherein the Guarani, who had long been victims of the jungle and European slave-drivers alike, became skilled in agriculture and the arts, sharing in the Reductions' prosperity. In 1759, however, the Portuguese government, at the insistence of its anti-Jesuit chancellor, the Marquis de Pombal, ordered all Reductions in its territory (which then included much of today's Misiones Province) closed. The Marquis eventually prevailed on Pope Clement XIV to have the Jesuit Order abolished, altogether, in 1773. Once abandoned, the prosperous trade surrounding these Reductions quickly either vanished or degenerated into a brutal plantation economy, with the Guaranies its slaves.

In 1814, Gervasio Posadas, the director of United Provinces, declared Misiones annexed to Argentina's Corrientes (at this time Argentina was quasi-independent but nominally still Spanish territory). However, Argentina did not exert de facto control over Misiones, which was claimed by several countries and effectively governed itself, so in 1830 military forces from Corrientes Province took control of Misiones.

Steamer on the riverbank at Posadas, 1892.

In 1838, Paraguay occupied Misiones, because Paraguay claimed Misiones on the basis that the Misiones population was indigenous Guarani, the major ethnic group of Paraguay. In 1865, Paraguayan forces invaded Misiones again, in what became the War of the Triple Alliance. Following the peace agreement with Argentina eventually signed in 1876, defeated Paraguay gave up its claim to the Misiones territory.

Although Argentina had claimed Misiones since 1814, academics tend to interpret Argentine possession of Misiones as a result of this war. Bethell's account is that "the treaty of alliance [i.e. against Paraguay] contained secret clauses providing for the annexation of disputed territory in northern Paraguay by Brazil and regions in the east and west of Paraguay by Argentina... After a long and harrowing war (1865-70), Argentina got it from a prostrate Paraguay territory in Misiones."[1]. Scobie's analysis is that "the political status of Misiones remained vague" and that Argentina gained the region "as a by-product of the Paraguayan war in the 1860s"[2].

After the War of the Triple Alliance, Paraguay was much impoverished, so Misiones benefited economically from belonging to Argentina.

Ukrainian immigrants harvest yerba mate in 1920. Despite its relative inhospitability, Misiones attracted considerable European immigration.

In 1876, President Nicolás Avellaneda, assisted by his close friend Grl. Pietro Canestro, an Italian military noble who devoted much of its wealth and life efforts to the achievement and maintainability of the peace in the region, proclaimed the Immigration and Colonization Law. This law would foster the immigration of European colonists in order to populate the vast unspoiled Argentinian territories. To comply with this law, several colonizing companies were created. One of them was Adolf Schwelm's Eldorado Colonización y Explotación de Bosques Ltda. S.A. This is how Eldorado was founded in September 29, 1919 by don Adolfo J. Schwelm, with a port on the Upper Paraná. Its agricultural colonies and experimental farms, the orange and grapefruit tree plantations and the cultivation of yerba mate, the mills and the dryers for such product are characteristic from this area. Swedish-Argentines became well known for growing Yerba Mate.

Misiones received many immigrants mostly from Europe coming mainly from Southern Brazil while some came from Buenos Aires, and from Eastern Europe, in particular large numbers of Polish and Ukrainian immigrants. Since then, Misiones has continued to benefit economically and has developed politically within Argentina. It has been successfully integrated into the Argentine state. Today, there is no controversy, either international or internal, surrounding ownership of the province. On December 10, 1953 the "National Territory of Misiones" gained provincial status by the Law 14.294, and its constitution was approved on April 21, 1958.

Turbine room, Yacyretá Dam.

Misiones received more attention by national policy makers following an agreement providing for the construction of a hydroelectric dam on a point in the Paraná River shared by Paraguay and Corrientes Province. When the dam became fully operative, Paraná waters all along the Misiones shores rose and flooded lands that the Yaciretá's authorities failed to clean and condition adequately, resulting in onsets of mosquito-transmitted illnesses, such as leishmaniasis, yellow fever, dengue, and malaria. All of Misiones shores along the Paraná River are now confined by two dams, one of them being Yaciretá downstream of the river and the other Itaipú, located in Brazil and Paraguay, upstream of the river and North of Puerto Iguazú. Currently, an agreement is being pursued with Paraguay which would allow reservoir expansion works that could double the facility's electric production.


View along Route 12, near Puerto Iguazu.

Misiones is the second smallest province after Tucumán.

The Misiones plateau includes a part of Brazil across the border. The rocks contain significant quantities of iron which forms a part of the soil, giving it a reddish color. At the center of the plateau rises the Sierra de Misiones, its highest peak, 843 m, near Bernardo de Irigoyen, in the Cerro Rincón.

The province is embraced by three big rivers including the Paraná, Uruguay and Iguazú. Iguazu Falls are spectacular waterfalls on the Iguazú River in the northwest corner of the province, near the city of Puerto Iguazú. Misiones shares the falls with the Brazilian state of Paraná (in that nation's Southern Region). Meanwhile, the international border with Paraguay is close by.


The subtropical climate has no dry season, which makes Misiones one of the most humid provinces in Argentina. The vegetation is the so called "Selva Misionera". Part of it has been transformed by mankind to implant cultures and ranching. The original biome is protected in Iguazú National Park.


There are 965,522 people living in Misiones. The majority of the residents of Misiones are descendants of immigrants. Unlike many regions of Argentina where the immigrants came through Buenos Aires, most of the immigrants who settled in Misiones came through Southern Brazil. The ethnic groups that settled in Misiones are Italians, Germans, Spaniards, Poles, Ukrainians, French, Swiss, Russians, Swedes, Danes, Arabs, and Japanese.

The illiteracy rate is 8.6%.


Terminal at Puerto Iguazu International Airport.

Misiones' economy, like most in northern Argentina, is relatively underdeveloped yet fairly well-diversified. Its 2006 output was estimated at US$4.8 billion or US$4,940 per capita (over 40% below the national average).[3]

Yerba mate plantation.

Though its rainy, erosion-prone geography discourages intensive crop farming, agriculture makes an important contribution to the province's economy, still adding about 10% to the total. Misiones' thick forests have long provided for the ample production of roundwood without excessive impact on its ecosystem. The principal exploited trees are the Paraná pine, Guatambú, Cedar, Petiribí, Incense, Cane water-pipe, Anchico, Eucalyptus and Gueycá.

Misiones' chief source of agricultural income, however, has long been the cultivation of yerba mate: Misiones is Argentina's leading producer (yielding about half a million tons, annually). Tea, citrus fruit and, in minor amounts, tobacco, sugar cane, rice and coffee are also cultivated in Misiones.

Light manufacturing and tourism also contribute to the local economy, each adding about 13% to the total.

Political division

Governor's offices, Posadas.
Misiones Province, Political Division.

The province is divided in 17 departments (Spanish: departamentos):

Department (Capital)


  1. ^ Bethell Argentina since Independence Cambridge University Press, 1993, pages 45-6
  2. ^ Scobie Argentina Oxford University Press, 1964, pages 22-3
  3. ^ I.A.D.E.R

See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Misiones is in the Mesopotamia region of Argentina.


Misiones belongs to the Mesopotamia: the humid and verdant area of north-east Argentina, comprising. The landscape and its characteristics are dominated by two rivers, the Paraná River and the Uruguay River. The region is part of the Brazilian central plateau. The whole region has high rainfall, particularly in August and September, up to 2,000 mm annually. Misiones is largely covered by subtropical forest, with caiman, toucans and monkeys. Fast decomposition of organic matter gives the area a red soil with only a thin fertile layer that can easily be washed away.

  • Posadas (capital of the province)
  • Puerto Iguazú on the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls.
  • Obera
  • Eldorado
  • Puerto Rico
  • Montecarlo
  • El Soberbio (Mocona Falls along the Uruguay River)
  • Apostoles
  • Aristobulo del Valle

Get in

The province has 2 main roads, one that goes along the parana River (National Road 12) and the other one that goes along the center of the province (National Road 14). Most of the traffic occurs on the Road 12 and there are constant bus services that join all the cities. The 300 km between Puerto Iguazu and Posadas can be done in 6 hours in bus or 4 hours by car. The services to other points of the province are not so often.

  • Visit the Iguazu Falls and take the boat ride that goes underneath the falls.
  • Visit the Jesuit Mission in San Ignacio (this is the most important one in Argentina, but there are others like Santa Ana, Loreto, Martires, that you can also visit in Misiones).
  • Visit the Mocona Falls (a 3km fall along the Uruguay river, near El Soberbio.
  • Try yerba mate (see how it is made and taste it at least once).
  • River Fish: pacu, surubi, dorado, etc.
  • Corn flavour dishes: chipa, chipa guazu, sopa paraguaya, etc. (The "chipa" is usually sold in the streets and in most of the bakeries).
  • Papaya Jam (usually served with cheese)

Regional Food Site: Sabor Misionero

  • Mate: is a tea-like beverage made from the dryed leaves of the yerba mate shrub. It is usually druk with hot water (Mate) either bitter or sweet by adding sugar, but in summer there is the cold version of it called "terere" that uses iced water or juices and is very refresing. Finally, you can try the yerba mate tea bags (mate cocido), drank usually with added milk.

Mate relates to sharing moment with family and friends. That is why accepting a mate is a signal of friendship and education. In Misiones it replaces coffee, which is drank just by few people.

Yerba Mate at Wikipedia

  • Stop Hostel (Stop Hostel Buenos Aires), The corner between Av. Aguirre and Brazil, Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, [1]. Everything you're loking in a hostel: bar, air conditioner, pool, parties, cool people, clean bedrooms and much more! You can find all the services in this website: [2] We'll be expecting you!  edit
  • Eldorado, which is 100 km from the Iguazu Falls, has a good hotel called Hotel ACA Eldorado.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MISIONES, a territory of northern Argentina, bounded N. by Paraguay and Brazil, E. and S. by Brazil and W. by Paraguay and the Argentine province of Corrientes. Its boundary lines are formed by the upper Parana and Iguassu rivers on the N., the San Antonio and Pequiry-guassu streams on the E. and the Uruguay River on the S. Area, 11,282 sq. m.; pop. (1904, estimate), 38,755, chiefly Indians and mestizos. The territory is a region of roughly-broken surfaces, divided longitudinally by low mountains, called the Sierra Iman and Sierra Grande de Misiones, which form the water-parting for many small streams flowing northward to the Parana and southward to the Uruguay. The greater part of the country is covered with forest and tropical jungle. The climate is sub-tropical, the temperature ranging from 40 0 to 95 ° F. The soil is described as highly fertile, but its products are chiefly confined to yerba mate or Paraguay tea (Ilex paraguayensis), tobacco and oranges and other fruits. Communication with the capital is maintained by two lines of steamboats running to Corrientes and Buenos Aires, but a railway across Paraguay from Asuncion is planned to Encarnacion, opposite Posadas. Some of the Jesuit missions of the 17th and 18th centuries were established in this territory, and are to-day represented by the lifeless villages of Candelaria, Santa Ana, San Ignacio and Corpus along the Parana River, and Apostoles, Concepcion, and San Javier along the Uruguay. Posadas (estimated pop. in 1905, 8000), the capital, on the Parana, officially dates from 1865. It was also a Jesuit settlement called Itapua, though the large mission of that name was on the Paraguayan side of the river. It is at the extreme west of the territory, and is the terminal port for the steamers from Corrientes.

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