Mission San Diego de Alcalá was the first of the 21 California Missions founded on July 16th 1769. It is known as the birthplace of Christianity in the West and was created to convert the Kumeyaay Native Americans. The Mission System was a new way of life for the Kumeyaay whose lives now consisted of living and working by the ringing bells. This linear idea of time did not serve the Kumeyaay well and the mission system crumbled during Mexican Independence. Unfortunately, many Native Americans had passed away from the diseases they were exposed to during Mission times.