Dominicans from this monastery accompanied Columbus on his voyages. Not only did they proselytize to the natives of the New World, they argued that indigenous people around the world had souls and human rights. While the dignity of all persons seems common sense in the 21st century, it was a radical concept in the 16th, and the Dominicans of Salamanca suffered for it. Nonetheless, they persevered and continue to agitate for social and economic justice, finally convincing the pope to declare indigenous people as human beings. Their convent is a pleasure to tour, highlighted by the elaborate gilded José Benito Churriguera altar in the church and the stunning Baroque choir with an illustrated hymnal big enough that all 118 monks could read the music from their seats.