views updated


Misiones is an Argentine province located in the northeast, bordering on the west with Paraguay and on the north, south, and east with Brazil. It has 970,000 inhabitants, 250,000 of them in its capital city of Posadas. The Spanish conqueror Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca arrived in the territory in 1541. Later, in the seventeenth century, the Jesuits settled in the area, which was inhabited at that time by indigenous people (mostly Guaraní). Misiones was a national territory until 1953, when it was made a province.

The climate of Misiones is subtropical without a dry season, and its topography consists of plateaus. Although deteriorating due to deforestation, jungle covers 35 percent of the province's area. The main economic activities are forestry, sawmills, production of wood panels and cellulose paste, and paper industries. Tea, maté, and tobacco crops are important to the province. Tourism is significant. Iguazú Falls (with its 227 individual falls) in Iguazú National Park and the Jesuit mission of San Ignacio are the area's main attractions.

See alsoArgentina: The Nineteenth Century; Argentina: The Twentieth Century; Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Núñez; Jesuits; Yerba Mate Industry.

                                       Vicente Palermo