Community and religion in San Miguel Acatan, Guatemala, 1940 to 1960
AuthorJafek, Timothy Bart, 1968-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis examines San Miguel as a cultural symbol in the Mayan community of San Miguel Acatan, Guatemala from 1940 to 1960. During the decades examined the community underwent a series of political, economic, social, and religious changes. This thesis focuses on the religious transformations. American Maryknoll priests were assigned in 1946 as the town's first full-time priests. They sought to 'convert the pagan Catholics' by introducing a universal form of Catholicism. Resistance to the efforts of the priests culminated in 1959, when San Miguel fled the town center to the nearby village of Chimban where a chapel was built for San Miguel and a market established. The traditional religious hierarchy moved to Chimban shortly afterwards. Within a year people from the town center kidnapped and burned Chimban's image of San Miguel. The thesis draws primarily on archival and oral history sources.
Degree ProgramGraduate College