San Lucas Tolimán

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San Lucas Tolimán
San Lucas Tolimán is located in Guatemala
San Lucas Tolimán
San Lucas Tolimán
location in Guatemala
Coordinates: 14°38′N 91°8′W / 14.633°N 91.133°W / 14.633; -91.133GNS-enwiki
Country Flag of Guatemala.svg Guatemala
Department Vlagsolola.gif Sololá
Catholic mission built 1584
 • Type municipal
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)[1]
 • municipality 21,455
 • Urban 12,674
Time zone Central Time (UTC-6)
Country calling code 502
Climate Aw

San Lucas Tolimán is a municipality in the Sololá department of Guatemala. [2] 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, previously headed by Bishop John M. LeVoir, is a suffragan see in the Ecclesiastical Province of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, once led by former Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt). The Mission was founded 48 years ago[when?] by Monsignor Gregory Thomas Schaffer, He was responsible[3] 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.[4]

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.


  1. ^ "XI Censo Nacional de Poblacion y VI de Habitación (Censo 2002)". INE. 2002. 
  2. ^ "San Lucas Mission". San Lucas Mission. 
  3. ^ , in the words of a Catholic News Service (CNS) news brief released on Wednesday, June 6, 2012,
  4. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 14°38′N 91°08′W / 14.633°N 91.133°W / 14.633; -91.133