San Jeronimó Mission, Petén, Guatemala

Overview

The first San Jeronimó mission was constructed in 1702 in the area of Nixtun-Ch’ich’San Jerónimo included a church and 36 houses, but in 1734, it was moved to the northeast near present-day San Andrés, Petén (Jones 1998:394). In 2007, Proyecto Itza del Peten encountered a massive refuse deposit adjacent to a large platform on the eastern point of the peninsula (Sector ZZ). See map below.

Many locals reported that the platform once contained an old church. Unfortunately, the platform had been bulldozed by the landowner. However, in addition to typical Itza ceramics, the refuse deposit included Spanish colonial artifacts including olive jar sherds, glass beads (produced between 1650 and 1700), a metal knife, and so on. We also encountered a number of residences constructed in a Late Postclassic style, but unlike those found elsewhere at Nixtun-Ch’ich’. We believe these to have been the remains of the first San Jeronimó mission.