In 1963, Fr. Greg Shaffer from the diocese of New Ulm,
MN went to San Lucas, Tolimán, Guatemala, and
began to work as a parish priest. Responding to the
needs of the community, he soon started programs in
education, healthcare, construction, coffee, as well as
a program inviting groups from the United States to walk
alongside the people and culture of San Lucas.
Fr. Greg died in 2012, and the Friends of San Lucas was
created to carry on his legacy. Efforts at the San Lucas
Mission respond to the needs of the people, working to
build infrastructure so that the people might grow out of
the process of poverty. Programming at the mission is
based in Christian Social Doctrine and is designed to
develop five basic human rights: food, security, shelter,
healthcare, education, and work.
What will we do?
We will serve the local community through various projects supported by the Friends of San Lucas Mission. Projects include things such as: building fuel-efficient stoves, wood/charity homes, and cinder block homes, general construction, painting, hauling rocks or sand, and more. While immersed, we will also learn more about the Mayan culture, experience the effects of oppression and poverty, and get to know the people of San Lucas. As a mission crew we will learn more about our Catholic faith through daily prayer, Mass, scripture, and working alongside each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
San Lucas, Tolimán, Guatemala:
San Lucas is located in south central Guatemala, about
2.5 hours west of the capital, Guatemala City. San
Lucas is one of the poorest areas in the region and the
town consists of 20,000 people. An additional 20,000 live
in the surrounding areas. 85%-90% of the people are
native Maya. San Lucas sits on the edge of Lake Atitlán,
one of the largest lakes in Central America. San Lucas is
almost a mile above sea level making for cool evenings
during our mission trip.
Have questions or concerns? Send an email to the SJN team organizing the trip.