San Juan La Laguna


The town of San Juan La Laguna was founded in colonial times, by residents of the town of Atitlán, of the Tz’utujil ethnic group, as indicated in an appraisal document (list of tributes).

An inventory of 1787, reports that the church had three altars and several images, indicating that it was a parish of some importance and artistic value. The temple was destroyed by the earthquake of April 2, 1902. (FUNCEDE)

In 1940 there were six people interested in the Catholic faith, since then they asked the Diocese of Quetzaltenango for their formation as catechists. From that moment they began to evangelize families and conquer couples who lived together to receive the sacrament of marriage in Sololá by Father Alonso, groups of 10 to 15 couples were formed.

As time passed, in 1946 people traveled every month to Sololá by canoe to listen to the mass in the Latin language. During the celebration the priest went looking at the cross, leaving his back to the parishioners, while some lay people learned some songs in Latin to sing at Holy Mass. During Father Guillermo's stay he made some changes such as the celebration of Holy Mass from Latin to Spanish and then translated the New Testament into the Tz’utujil language taken from the Protestant Evangelical Bible.

The first to join Catholic Action were Lucas Mendoza Pérez, Andrés García Cholotío, Andrés Abelino Mendoza, Domingo Vásquez Mendoza, Juan Yotz Pantzay and they are the ones who brought the doctrine with some people from San Pedro La laguna.

In 1954 the first President of the Catholic action was Francisco Vásquez.

Prime Minister of the Eucharist: Andrés Cholotío Pérez in 1974, is when they came to leave the Blessed Sacrament in San Juan la laguna (May 13, 1974)

In the church of before there was a lot of respect, little organization but the people worshiped God with a lot of devotion and sacrifice. Today devotion has been lost.

Some important years of the improvements that have been made to the temple are detailed.

  • In 1969 to 1970 the adobe church was rebuilt.
  • 1971 the facade of the church was built.
  • 1972 the parish hall was built.
  • 2007 the church was destroyed to build a new larger church for the parishioners.
  • 2007 to 2015 Construction of the new parish church.
  • The parish is administered by the pastor and with the support of the Parish Council made up of representatives of each organized group of the church, who help the priest in directing and coordinating activities of the parish. The person who heads the Parish Council is the Priest. Previously, the leaders of the church were called Catholic Action who are elected by the main people of the town and a group called catechists through an assembly of the Catholic faithful, who propose the suitable people to be part of the board of directors.

Come and meet the Catholic Church of San Juan La Laguna !


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