Municipality of San Juan Guarita
San Juan Guarita is a municipality in the Department of Lempira in Honduras.
In the population census of 1887, it appeared as the village of El Rodeo, part of the municipality of Guarita. In the administration of President Rafael López Gutiérrez, a decree was issued for the creation of the municipality on February 21, 1921.
It was formed with parts of the lands that remained after its inhabitants sold them to the non-indigenous people of Guarita. This created problems in acquiring documents and deeds that did not originate from the official land ownership title, so they decided to separate from Guarita.
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From 1917 to 1919, the indigenous people sought copies of the deeds to their lands, but it did not yield beneficial results. This led to many internal conflicts and tensions between the indigenous people and non-indigenous people, resulting in the loss of many lives.
Guarita was officially declared a city on February 26, 1934. By Agreement No. 1187, the municipality of «San Juan Guarita» was created, with its headquarters in the El Rodeo Valley.
On July 4, 1929, the political governor of the department and the military commander demarcated the boundary line of the municipality, including the villages within its jurisdiction. Both municipalities were granted all acquired rights and were obliged to accept the authorized rectification by the Executive Power of Honduras, which was signed by both municipal governments.
As disagreements between the two towns continued, the municipality nullified the sales made by the indigenous people of San Juan Guarita to the inhabitants of Guarita.
Since 1935, copies of the property rights to communal lands have been obtained, and the relations between the inhabitants of these municipalities have improved.
It is nestled halfway up a mountain. The surroundings are covered with pine and oak trees. The mountains and hills surrounding it are very steep, and the road winds through very deep and dangerous cliffs. Due to deforestation, the climate in Guarita has changed from temperate to increasingly hot.
The municipality of San Juan Guarita has the following boundaries: to the north with the municipality of Guarita; to the south with El Salvador. To the east also with Guarita; to the west with the municipality of Valladolid.
- Land area: 43 km²
Due to its elevation above sea level, the surroundings are suitable for coffee cultivation. Corn and bean crops are very common in the area. It also has electricity and fixed and mobile communication services. Due to its relative proximity to San Marcos de Ocotepeque, there is common trade in various essential products.
There is at least one bus that makes the journey to San Marcos de Ocotepeque once a day, staying overnight in the city of Guarita. In some private homes, fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel are sold.
Mestizos are the majority in San Juan Guarita. There is a significant percentage of white-skinned people, but they are of mixed descent.
- Population: In 2001, the population was approximately 2,841. According to projections by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), an estimated population of 2,994 is expected for 2008.
- Villages: 6
- Hamlets: 25
Access to this town is through Santa Rosa de Copán-San Marcos de Ocotepeque-Cololaca-Guarita. The distance that separates this municipality from Guarita is only a half hill. This journey takes approximately 2.5 hours but is much more comfortable than going through the city of Gracias.
From a distance, they appear to be the same city as Guarita. The road is in good condition for most of the year. San Juan Guarita has a simple and colonial architecture. If you want to enjoy the tranquility offered by remote areas, San Juan Guarita is a suitable place as it has many typical rural characteristics.
There is 1 establishment with internet access, located at the Town Hall. There is significant influence from Salvadoran television and radio networks. It boasts spectacular landscapes, including those leading to the Republic of El Salvador.
- Patron Saint Fair: June 24th, the day of «San Juan.»