San Lucas Tolimán
|San Lucas Tolimán|
|Catholic mission built||1584|
|Elevation||1,700 m (5,600 ft)|
|Highest elevation||3,144 m (10,315 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||1,562 m (5,125 ft)|
|Population (census 2002)|
|Time zone||Central Time (UTC-6)|
|Country calling code||502|
San Lucas Tolimán is a municipality in the Sololá department of Guatemala.  The town of 17,000 people sits on the southeastern shore of Lago de Atitlán, described by Aldous Huxley as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The population is 90-95% Highland Maya. There is a population of about the same size living in the surrounding villages.
At 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) altitude the town offers "eternal spring" with annual temperatures ranging from 50-80 degrees F. The dry season runs from November through June/July (called "summer" locally) and the rainy season runs the other six months ("winter"). The area is free of malaria due to its elevation. The area's elevation ranges from 1,562 metres (5,125 ft) along the lake to 3,144 metres (10,315 ft) at the summit of Volcán Tolimán. Volcán Tolimán is just south of town.
The area is well known as being the site of the San Lucas Tolimán Mission, overseen by the Roman Catholic Diocese of New Ulm in the city of New Ulm, Minnesota (the Diocese, headed by Bishop John M. LeVoir, is a suffragan see in the Ecclesiastical Province of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, led by Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt). The Mission was founded 48 years ago by Monsignor Gregory Thomas Schaffer, He was responsible, in the words of a Catholic News Service (CNS) news brief released on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, for starting up a series of education, health, and agriculture initiatives, including the granting of 3 acres of land each to 4,000 families, the launch of medical clinics, and the start of a fair-price coffee initiative.
Following the passing of Monsignor Schaffer at the age of 78 at a Marian care facility in St. Paul of a rare form of lymphoma, a new group called the Friends of San Lucas has been appointed by Bishop LeVoir to continue the vision and work of Father Greg.