Dating for missionaries
Properly, “Chiquitos” refers only to either a modern-day department of Bolivia, or the former region of Upper Peru (now Bolivia) that once encompassed all of the Chiquitania and parts of Mojos (or Moxos) and the Gran Chaco.
The current provincial division of Santa Cruz department does not follow the Jesuits’ concept of a missionary area.
In the 16th century, priests of different religious orders set out to evangelize the Americas, bringing Christianity to indigenous communities.This policy sprang from the colonial legal view of the “Indian” as a minor, who had to be protected and guided by European missionaries so as not to succumb to sin.Reductions, whether created by secular or religious authorities, generally were construed as instruments to force the natives to adopt European culture and lifestyles and the Christian region.The Jesuits did not start missions in the valleys northeast of the cordillera until the 17th century.The two central areas for their activities were Moxos, situated in the department of Beni, and the Chiquitania (then simply Chiquitos) in the department of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
The Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos are located in Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia.