Tucson (pron.: // TOO-son) is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116, while the 2011 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan area was 989,569. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, which both anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is located 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 52nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. Roughly 150 Tucson companies are involved in the design and manufacture of optics and optoelectronics systems, earning Tucson the nickname Optics Valley.
Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Tucson, Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham San Xavier Indian Reservation. Named in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino for a pioneering Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order), the Mission is also known as the "place where the water appears," as there were once natural springs in the area. The Santa Cruz River which now runs only part of the year is also nearby. The Mission is situated in the center of a centuries-old Indian settlement of the Tohono O'odham (formerly known as Papago), located along the banks of the Santa Cruz River.
The Mission is a pilgrimage site with thousands of pilgrims who visit the church each year many of them walking or riding on horseback cabalgatas.