Palma.—Balearic MPs voted unanimously in favour of 2013, being officially declared the ‘Year of Fray Juniper Serra' in honour of the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Majorcan Franciscan friar, who founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco.

Celebration to mark the anniversary began at the start of the year, most of them being organised by the former U.S. Consular Agent to the Balearics, Tummy Bestard, who is the President of the Fray Juniper Foundation.

But, a host of events are going to continue throughout the year, in the run up to the 300th anniversary of his birth in Petra, on November 24.
Juniper Serra is considered to have been the founder of California and is the only foreigner to have been honoured with a statue on Capitol Hill. His missions remain open today.