In 1963, Father Greg Schaffer, from the diocese of New Ulm, MN, came to San Lucas Toliman and began work as a parish priest. Responding to the expressed needs of the community he realized that his work as a priest would be broader than he had imagined. He soon started programs in education, healthcare, construction, coffee as well as a visitor’s program inviting groups from the United States to walk alongside the people and culture of San Lucas. Fr. Greg died in 2012 and the Friends of San Lucas was born to carry on his legacy of working with the people of San Lucas to alleviate the process of poverty.
Currently, the Friends of San Lucas supports the Mission in Guatemala, which employs over 100 people working in all program areas. Almost all of the support for the work of the Mission comes through private donations.