San Juan Guelavía

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San Juan Guelavía
Municipality and town
San Juan Guelavía is located in Mexico
San Juan Guelavía
San Juan Guelavía
Location in Mexico
Coordinates: 16°57′N 96°32′W / 16.950°N 96.533°W / 16.950; -96.533Coordinates: 16°57′N 96°32′W / 16.950°N 96.533°W / 16.950; -96.533
Country Mexico
 • Total17.86 km2 (6.90 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 • Total2,940
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (Central Daylight Time)

San Juan Guelavía is a town and municipality in Oaxaca in south-western Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 17.86 km². It is part of the Tlacolula District in the east of the Valles Centrales Region.

As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 2,940.[1]


San Juan Guelavia is on the river and one of the few communities in the valley that had historically set up irrigation canals.[2]


Early Spanish migration to the area consisted of cattle ranchers who moved their cattle from communal usage pastures in the mountains to communal pastures in the valley.[3] In 1539, Bartolome Sanchez was granted an estancia de granado mayor (permanent land holding rights) near what is now San Juan Guelavía.[3]

Guelavia's sixteenth century church has a large number of colonial-era santos, statues of Roman Catholic saints.[4]

During the Mexican Revolution, in 1914, General Juan M. Brito stationed his troops near San Juan Guelavia to oppose the Federalist aims of Venustiano Carranza.[5] After the war, Brito spent time in a prison in the Federal District of Mexico City before returning to San Juan Guelavia, where he established himself as a businessman running a store and also the local jefe strong man controlling the local communities through force of his armed followers.[5]


  1. ^ "San Juan Guelavia". Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México. Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
  2. ^ Lees, Susan H. (1973). Sociopolitical Aspects of Canal Irrigation in the Valley of Oaxaca. University of Michigan. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b Taylor, William B. (1972). Landlord and Peasant in Colonial Oaxaca. Stanford University Press. pp. 88–. ISBN 9780804707961. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  4. ^ Santos in Oaxaca's Ancient Churches: San Juan Guelavia. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  5. ^ a b Cook, Scott (2014-05-15). Land, Livelihood, and Civility in Southern Mexico: Oaxaca Valley Communities in History. University of Texas Press. pp. 337–. ISBN 9780292754782. Retrieved 29 November 2015.