Visitor Spotlight: Javier Miguel Lujan

Every year, hundreds of visitors travel to Guatemala to learn about the Mission’s work and experience the culture of San Lucas Tolimán. This summer, one of those visitors was Javier Miguel Lujan.

Javier is a 22-year-old college student. He visited the Mission with a group from his church—St. Anthony’s Parish in Sacramento, CA. Read on to learn a bit about Javier and his experience at the Mission.

 

What has been your favorite experience so far while visiting the Mission?

Javier: I liked learning about Padre Aplas (also known as Blessed Stanley Rother, an American priest martyred in Santiago, Guatemala). He was a man of great faith and strength, and his story inspired me. Like him, I hope to sacrifice myself for the sake of others.

What is it like to immerse yourself in the San Lucas community?

Javier: It’s completely different when you’re hands-on with a trip like this. It gives you a sense of how people live here. I truly admire the faith that many people in San Lucas have. They are rich in strength and hope. The other day, I was at mass, and the priest emphasized finding happiness even through sand and rocks. You don’t need to have all of these big things to be wealthy in happiness.

How do you stand in solidarity with the people of San Lucas?

Javier: I feel like I shouldn’t stand with them. I should stand behind them. They’re taking my hand and guiding me to whatever they need. As visitors, we lack enough knowledge of the culture or the community here, so we need to stand behind the locals and learn from them.

Would you ever consider being a Long-Term Volunteer at the Mission?

Javier: I would love to. I am thinking about it right now. Yesterday, I saw a family that I met last year. They recognized me immediately, which was heartwarming. All I need is to hold myself accountable and learn Spanish. I’ve always heard that full immersion is the best way to learn a language. I want to come here again and go to Spanish school, so I can understand the language better.

What would you tell people thinking about visiting the Mission?

Javier: If you’re interested in visiting the Mission, you have to be willing to immerse yourself in this experience on your own. However, I can say that once you get here, the people of San Lucas will welcome you, and you’ll feel a sense of being home.

 

Stay tuned for more visitor profiles, which we’ll share on our website blog and Facebook page over the coming weeks!

If you’d like to visit San Lucas like Javier, consider joining for our inaugural 2024 Experience San Lucas Trip on October 23 – 29 or arranging your own trip. Thank you for supporting the San Lucas Mission!

 

Photos and writing for this article by Faith Pitsikoulis

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