Two volcanoes Atitlán and San Lucas’s namesake, Tolimán, are ever present in lush landscape that surrounds San Lucas. Here you can see the thatched roofs and corn stalk walls that made up the majority of houses as recently as 50 years ago.
The Parish of San Lucas has been part of the community for more than four hundred years. Now this history represents the integral relationship the Parish has with San Lucas.
Father Greg, pictured here with community members, has been serving with people of San Lucas for more than 47 years. He has seen houses change from corn stalk to cement, the arrival of paved roads and tourists, the beginning and consequences of civil war, and community development respecting to culture and modernity.
Over the course of the 500 years after the Spanish Conquest, more and more land was taken from the Kaqchikel. Even after Guatemalan independence in 1821 the vast majority of land remained in the hands of wealthy land owners of Spanish descent. The disparity in land ownership has created below subsistence wages and extreme income inequality. Over the past 35 years, the San Lucas Mission has dramatically altered the disparity in land ownership by giving more than 4,000 families 3-acre plots of land. You can help the Parish close the ownership gap by contributing online.
This is a painting – a self-portrait – from a man from Santiago Atitlán. Accused of being allied with the guerrilla during the armed conflict, he painted this picture exclusively for Fr. Greg as a peace offering and sign of his innocence. It was the only self-portrait he ever painted.
An artist’s representation of a mudslide in September of 2002. The left side represents the devastation the community of El Porvenir experienced when their community was destroyed and 37 of their family members were killed. The right side represents the thankfulness of the people to the Parish for donating land so the people could rebuild their lives. At no small cost and effort, the Parish was able to provide enough land to relocate El Pourvenir and two other communities, Tierra Santa and Toltoya. Join the Parish in disaster relief efforts.