Sanarate, El Progreso, Guatemala, Central America.
The Great Rock of the Village of San Juan
It rises impressively, gives the impression of maintaining a precarious balance at the edge of a steep slope of
several hundred meters, which ends all the way at the bottom of a distant ravine. The legendary Piedrona de San
Juan is unique in this area, there is not another one like it for hundreds of kilometers around, as much for its
enormous size as for its unique location. It balances in such a way that it gives the impression that due to its
enormous weight it could roll at any time, even if propelled by just a light wind.
This is deceiving, since throughout the centuries La Piedrona has withstood hurricane force winds and geological
cataclysms, such as the earthquake in February of 1976 in Guatemala, which killed 25 thousand people in the center
and northeast portions of the country, including the village of San Juan. According to how the locals tell the
story, on that terrible day they were woken up at 03:33:33 in the morning, startled by the tremendous resounding
and the tectonic shaking produced by the teluric phenomenon. The toll was a high percentage of torn down houses in the
village and many persons hurt and suffering nervous breakdowns.
As calm was being restored the question arose about what could have happened with La Piedrona, so at dawn a group
of neighbors headed for the hill which is located a couple of kilometers away from the center of the village. The
villagers verified that La Piedrona continued in its place as if nothing had happened. In light of this, the oldest
of the villagers assured that this rock is unmovable due to mysterious forces which exert influence over it.
It is a popular belief that several centuries ago, the first inhabitants of the place affirmed that when walking at
night along the horseshoe trail, which is a shortcut that leads to the city of Sanarate, sounds can be heard coming
from the hill on top of which the rock sits. One hears unintelligible human voices, animal shrieks, resounding, the
sound of running water, the wing fluttering of birds, chilling screams and a wide range of macabre noises and sounds.
They also maintain that the rock was brought here from somewhere else and placed on top of the hill, stating that this could
be related to the astral symbols which appear drawn in the shape of two circles, which contain undecipherable messages in
esoteric and cosmic symbols. One of these circles represents the sun at winter solstice position; the other, represents one
phase of the new moon. One only has to approach and look closely to verify the presence of these figures represented in low
relief. Apparently the figures were carved in the granite rock by persons who were very knowledgeable about Astronomy and
Astrophysics. However, the curious thing is that in the several centuries since the existence of this rock has been known,
it is thought that in this area there were no people who would have had access to this highly advanced scientific knowledge.
Nor have there been any archeological traces found which would indicate that this area was inhabited in pre-Hispanic times.
On the contrary, the history says that the first settlers of this region were Spaniards and Serbian immigrants, who arrived
in Spain and later travelled to the American continent in search of their fortune. According to the version told by the
residents of the village of San Juan, the origin of this rock cannot be explained by means of some geological phenomenon;
but rather can be related with alchemy, mysticism or metaphysics. There is even talk that the hill on top of which the rock
stands, has an underground connection with other hills which are revered by the simple people of Sanarate as places where
one can have a close encounter with the supernatural.
Another phenomenon which occurs in La Piedrona is that nowhere else in the area can one find more snakes and vipers, such as the
coral snake, the tamagas and the terrible rattlesnake. The farmers assure that these poisonous reptiles are the guardians of the
hill. One also has to be very careful when approaching the hill and not make a lot of noise at the foot of the rock, since in the
grooves there are hives of African honey bees, which are extremely aggressive.
When the international aid organization FOSTER PARENTS came to the village of San Juan, among their activities of social
assistance was included the visit by foreign godparents (sponsors) who came to visit the children who were being sponsored.
Among this group of visitors came some Dutch geologists who were fascinated by the stories and the enigmatic beauty of
La Piedrona. Since they had only come here on a leisure trip, these geologists did not have special instruments or
equipment in order to conduct detailed studies. However, at first sight they determined that the molecular granite
composition of this rock does not correspond to the limestone composition of the rest of the rocks which make up the
surrounding hills. In other words, this rock should not be here, in accordance with the composition of the lithosphere,
since given its characteristics it should be along the banks of some river or in a riverbed somewhere.
Furthermore, according to the planimetry and the field surveys, there is no possibility that this rock arrived all
the way to where it sits today, due to the pressure exerted over the earth’s crust throughout the geological ages.
In the end, these good geologists only increased the enigma rather than solve it. In other words, science was left
with no other option than to accept that this rock was brought here by something or someone, so that the popular belief
of the local people would be correct.
By the way, the similarity that exists between La Piedrona of San Juan and the shape of a face which was formed on the
northern latitude of the planet Mars, in the region of Cydonia, is truly amazing. The “Face on Mars” is located between
the Arandas and Bamberg craters. The “Viking 1” spacecraft, sent by NASA, took several photographs of this “face” on the 25th of July of 1976.
If the village of San Juan were a country, surely its national symbol would be La Piedrona, and with justified reason.
For those who read this report, we bring to you the enigmatic words of a hardened, old and wise farmer from San Juan, who expressed
himself about this phenomenon in the following way: “You see… one should not believe in these things… or stop believing…”
tono herrera gudiel
Reportaje y Fotos:
Jorge H. Herrera
Foto No. 9:
Foto No. 13:
Viking 1 Spacecraft NASA
Foto No. 14:
Jorge H. Herrera
Viking 1 Spacecraft NASA
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