The Spanish, who had occupied Mexico since the 1500s, establish a religious and military presence in California by building Franciscan missions along the coast. In 1769, a mission is built at San Diego -- the first of many.
Spaniard Juan Bautista de Anza, with the help of Native American guides, establishes an overland route from Mexico to the California coast. He is presumably the first European to make contact with the Cahuilla people.
Mission San Gabriel establishes an asistencia closer to the mountains and nearer to Cahuilla territory where it begins to impact Cahuilla life and belief systems.
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