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Heritage and Home


In the early 18th century, Baar is a small, catholic village. The residents’ main sources of income are farming, cattle trade, and domestic work. At that point, the Old Swiss Confederacy is a loose union of sovereign cantons, associated places, and subject regions.

Pater Martin Schmid leaves the village Baar at 16 years old in the year 1710 to attend the Jesuit College in Lucerne. At age 32, he sets out to travel to the reductions in Bolivia. It is impossible for him to know if he’d ever return to his home country. Nevertheless, the letters he composed for his relatives back in Baar during the entire journey confirm that he stayed closely connected to his family and home. Sometimes, he missed certain familiar Swiss customs in Bolivia.

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