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Sanarate, El Progreso, Guatemala, Central America.

El Upayón Village
Sanarate, El Progreso.
Guatemala, Central America.





El Upayón Village


On kilometer 56.1 of the Route to the Atlantic, one finds the main entrance into the village of El Upayón, which welcomes the visitor with its lush orchards with plentiful fruit and with the characteristic friendliness of its inhabitants.

The first settlers of this fertile valley were two rancher and farmer brothers who came here to settle and start a new life: Simeón and Tereso Herrera, during the early nineteenth century. Years later, Simeón Herrera married Natividad Ortiz, and built a house very close to the foothills of La Piedra de Cal. The house was located along the edge of a very rustic trail which led toward Motagua River, passing by the villages of Los Izotes, El Florido and El Terrerito, until finally reaching the village of Los Chicos on the edge of the river.

The marriage between Simeón Herrera and Natividad Ortiz bore 7 children in that house in El Upayón: Timoteo, Victorino, Bonifacio, Víctor, Adelaida, Margarita and Casimira.

After that, Victorino Herrera married Eusebia Rodríguez, who came from Mataquescuintla, Jalapa. This couple had 14 children: Alfredo, Olivia, Clara, Vitalina, Gregoria, Celio, Francisca, Lucas, Rupe, Felipa, Natividad, Esther, Mercedes and Chabelo.

It is important to note that the first generations of the Herreras in El Upayón were illiterate. However, despite not knowing how to read or write, they worked eagerly throughout their entire lives, until they became very respectable and exemplary families. In this way, they left a very important lesson for all of their descendants: persevere at hard and constant work to better yourself and reach the goals that you have established for yourself.

It is in this way that the descendants of the Herrera Family in El Upayón managed to procreate illustrious families which have contributed very important elements to the Sanaratecan and Guatemalan societies. Furthermore, they have also given rise to many distinguished professionals in different branches and specialties within science, technology, and education. There are also many other descendants who are scattered in different countries throughout the world.

The Geographical Significance of El Upayón.

This village was always a mandatory stopping point for those who came from other distant places, bringing their agricultural products to be marketed in Sanarate. As a consequence, every day there were mules loaded with firewood and fruit from the season, as well as people herding pigs or carrying hens and eggs. They also guided the cattle for the sale which was carried out in the form of an exchange or barter, which was the standard economic transaction at the time. In El Upayón these travelers always found a glass of fresh water or hot tortillas to alleviate the fatigue from the trip through the narrow and precipitous horseshoe trail.

Many years later, this situation suddenly changed with the earthquake of Guatemala from the 4th of February of 1976. One of the consequences of the catastrophe was that the houses in all the villages suffered severe damage or were destroyed. In order to get the humanitarian aid to all these villages, an unpaved road was built that would allow all types of vehicles to pass, which eased the traffic and shortened the time required for the trip. One of the consequences of this action was that it significantly increased the immigration into El Upayón, producing a notable increase in the number of inhabitants and the diversification of activities.

Currently one finds efficient services of electricity, drinking water, land – line and cellular telephone, cable TV, and microbus transportation. The main streets are paved, there is a soccer field where games are played on Sundays and Holidays. At the village school system there are preschool, elementary, middle and high school classes taught. At the college level, there is a career offered to become a Forestry Technician.

The agriculture is very advanced, using modern techniques such as greenhouses and trickle irrigation. Many of the farmers have taken specialization courses in Israel; Florida (USA) and other countries. The production of tomato, cucumber, green and red bell peppers, watermelon and other farm products is unbeatable.

The cattle is composed of pure breed animals which are bred from certified bulls, and the cows are milked using mechanized milking machines which employ the latest technology. This means that the cattle farming at El Upayón is at the same level of efficiency as the best ranches in Guatemala. There is also cattle which is bred for meat which is then sold at the meat markets in Sanarate.

To work on improving the infrastructure and the services of the village, the Committee for Community Development (COCODE) was formed. This committee worked arduously to achieve the pavement of the main streets of the village as well as on other projects which are important for the development of El Upayón. However, the work which has generated the most enthusiasm and has produced significant collaboration is the construction of the cemetery. It is already being developed at the bottom of the foothills of La Piedra de Cal in the place called El Tempiscón. The cemetery is being built with the help of the COCODE and the Municipality of Sanarate.

When speaking with members of the Herrera family, the affection that they have for their native land is quite evident, as well as the joy that they experience when they see the fruits of their labor of so many years bring prosperity to the village. Undoubtedly, El Upayón is moving inexorably to the rhythm of modern times.

El Upayón Village, Sanarate, El Progreso, Guatemala.

tono herrera gudiel

Jorge H. Herrera
Pingo Massella Herrera

Photo No. 8 provided by:
Víctor Manuel Herrera

Photo No. 9 provided by:
Casimiro Herrera

Photo No. 4 (1911) provided by:
Chabelo Herrera

Photo No. 4 (1982) provided by:
tono herrera gudiel

Guatelink Images — www.sanarate.com

© Copyright 2000 — 2011


Main Crops

    •   Tomato
    •   Cucumber
    •   Beans
    •   Corn
    •   Pumpkin
    •   Watermelon
    •   Oranges


Elementary School
Middle School
High School
College for Forestry Technician

Basic Services

 • Drinking Water
 • Electricity
 • Cable TV
 • Land – line Phone service
 • Cellular Phone service


 • Church of Saint Anthony

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© Copyright 2000 - 2011. Sanarate Systems, Inc.