Story by Jack Stuhler with an introduction by Paul May,
Jack Stuhler, the founder of Eezi-Awn, is an adventurous man and has spent his entire life exploring the African Continent. After driving from Johannesburg to the UK through the middle east in the early 1999, Jack set his sights on the Americas. He prepared a Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series Troopy by the name of Tubby for his journey and shipped it to South America. With his significant other, Margaret, their epic journey from Ushuaia to Dead Horse Alaska took over 18 months to complete in 2004/2005. They later returned south to Houston, and shipped Tubby home. Quite impressive for a couple in their 60s. Their adventures are an inspiration for us all.
THE AMERICAS WITH TUBBY XPLORER SOUTH AMERICAN ADVENTURE PART TWELVE
Days fly bye and we are on the road again, this time our direction via Santa Ana back onto Ruta 12 and the best restored and presented of Jesuit Mission ruins ‘Mini’ at San Ignacio. The history of these 17th century Jesuit Reduciones which were mostly situated in north-east Argentina, southern Paraguay and southern Brazil is most extraordinary. Beginning in 1607 in the upper Parana region of Paraguay and Argentina , in isolated areas largely overlooked by secular Spaniards, the Jesuits brought about a major political, economic and cultural transformation amongst the native Guarani. The remarkable success of the Order aroused envy and intrigue against them and eventually caused their downfall. The Mission economy was mostly agricultural and diversified. The Indians raised their own subsistence crops (maize, sweet potatoes and cassava) but also laboured on communal fields. Yerba Mate was the most important but cotton, citrus and tobacco were also significant; within the settlement itself intensive vegetable gardening took place. Outside the settlement native herders tended the Missions numerous livestock. When the Jesuits were expelled in 1768 due to exaggerated rumours of intrigue and jealousy of their success and self-reliance San Ignacio Mini had a population of 4,000 souls, close to 32,000 head of cattle and more than 64,000 sheep and goats. Quite a success story!