In Tucson, Ariz., Cultures Combine At 300-Year-Old Catholic Mission There's a place in Tucson, Ariz., where many cultures combine. The Catholic Mission San Xavier del Bac is over 300 years old, and white and Latino Catholics as well as two native tribes call it home.
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In Tucson, Ariz., Cultures Combine At 300-Year-Old Catholic Mission

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In Tucson, Ariz., Cultures Combine At 300-Year-Old Catholic Mission

In Tucson, Ariz., Cultures Combine At 300-Year-Old Catholic Mission

In Tucson, Ariz., Cultures Combine At 300-Year-Old Catholic Mission

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/509179565/509179566" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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For Gabriel Otero, the Catholic Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Ariz., is a sacred place. Indigenous people, Latinos and people of European ancestry all worship there. Sophia Paliza-Carre hide caption

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Sophia Paliza-Carre

For Gabriel Otero, the Catholic Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Ariz., is a sacred place. Indigenous people, Latinos and people of European ancestry all worship there.

Sophia Paliza-Carre

When Donald Trump won the presidential election, he made a pledge to every citizen: that he would be president for all Americans. In the weeks before Trump's inauguration, we're going to hear about some of the communities that make up this nation, from the people who know them best, in our series Finding America.

Gabriel Otero's family has lived in Tucson, Ariz., for five generations. The region about 70 miles from Mexico has a complicated history. Lots of people have called it home.

Otero is both Chicano and a member of an indigenous tribe, the Pascua Yaqui. At the Catholic Mission San Xavier del Bac, you can see this blending of Tucson's heritage. Indigenous people, Latinos and people of European ancestry all worship there.

This piece was produced by Sophia Paliza-Carre of Localore: Finding America, a national production of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio. Find more stories at NPR and at Finding America.

It was founded more than 300 years ago, when the area belonged to Spain. Later, it became part of Mexico and finally the United States.

For Otero, it is a sacred place.

"If someone's ill, we visit 'em," Otero says. "If someone's hungry, we feed 'em. That's just our culture. It's native, Hispanic, Mexican, Chicano. Our culture is very colorful, and you know, if you come here, you'll feel that. And you're gonna love it."

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