SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Mission needs more volunteer docents in 2014 to handle the growing crowds of visitors who want a guided tour around the famous landmark.
Along with the frequent stops by tour buses, and visitors coming from the growing number of cruise ship visits, the mission is seeing a greater demand for tours.
During the school year, there are also many classes of fourth graders who come through as part of their curriculum.
"I want them to have that connection, it's an important connection. Its history, its roots, it's knowing the past so we can do better in the future," said Maria Cabrera who conducts one of the expanded tours that includes La Huerta, or the orchard.
It has historic plantings or uses seeds that can be traced back to agricultural roots from Mexico and Peru, home to some of the original Franciscan Friars.
The church is the main centerpiece of the tour. The doors are often open for those taking a longer trip through the property or just a quick ten minute stop.
"We once kept a list of all the different countries,(people came from) and it was very long," said Abby Treloggen a docent for ten years.
Often in the cemetary, Treloggen finds a calming way to guide guest through the gravesites. "And what I do is take them to the de la Guerra tomb, and we read in Spanish that saying across the top that says 'I want to rest with those I have loved.'"
If you would like to be a docent and attend the upcoming classes call 682-4713.