SETECA Seminary, Guatemala


When I visited SETECA Seminary in Guatemala, I was astounded to see that nothing had changed in 25 years! My father was a professor of Greek and New Testament theology at this seminary (Semenario Teológico Centroamericano) for 20 years, which is why I grew up as a missionary kid.

Yes, I’m telling you there is a time warp in this location, as everything looks almost identical to when I was a little girl, going to Pioneer Girls here. I show you in the video the exact room where we had Pioneer Girls:

When we first drove up to SETECA, one of my dad’s former students was in my van, because he was the translator for the Compassion child visit. His name was German, and he told the gatekeepers that my dad was Dr. Gerardo Laursen. They looked at my face and exclaimed with joy, as they could see the resemblance of my face to my dad’s face. My dad was a well-loved professor here!


The parking lot is slightly different, as they seem to have added another building where the previous parking lot used to be. Now cars park along the tree-lined road, and even on top of the basketball court, where we used to shoot baskets!


The wood and iron benches are identical along the walls of the corridors of the double courtyard inside the main classroom area of the seminary. The floor is the checkerboard black and red squares that I remember so well.


The well-manicured lawns are lined with neatly clipped hedges and tropical flowers.


A large, multi-story building contains a library and the offices of the professors. I remember my dad had his office on the third floor, all the way to the end of the hall, on the left. It was strange to go up the gray pebbled-looking steps, remembering how I used to skip steps as a little girl on the way up to my dad’s office.


Everywhere I went, memories came flooding back. Even the laundry room had memories, as I looked at the pilas where students still washed some clothes by hand. (Washers and dryers line the walls as well, but I still see lots of pilas–large flat sinks for scrubbing clothes.)

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to stay at SETECA with my family after all these years!

Stay tuned for our next installment of our Guatemala Adventure series, and like our MK page to not miss any posts!

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19 Responses to “SETECA Seminary, Guatemala”

  1. Heather says:

    I bet that was an amazing place to visit. What a walk down memory lane for you. How fun.

  2. Andrea says:

    It’s a beautiful place – and the surrounding property is quite lovely as well!

  3. Alice Mills says:

    Love seeing your journey in such detail. Beautiful pictures.

    • Susan says:

      Thank you! My husband took the majority of these pictures while I filmed with the video camera. I’m so glad we were able to record our trip to enjoy later!

  4. Looks like a lovely place to grow up! I was a pioneer girl when I was young too!

  5. Thanks for the awesome tour. I didn’t realize that you are an MK. We were missionaries so our 5 kids are all MKs – third culture kids!

  6. Sergio E. Mijangos says:

    Susan, you might not remember me but I grew up with your sister Karen. I am now a professor of counseling at SETECA and your Dad was my Sunday school teacher when you guys first came to GT and I was a kid. I wish I had known you were coming. I would have loved to see you. I will follow your posts.

    • Susan says:

      Wow! Yes, I remember you, Sergio! I knew you from El Camino church in Zona 12.

      • Sergio E. Mijangos says:

        That is right that is still my church and my boys, now in college, also grew up there. Great to have news from you. I loved your post about SETECA.

  7. Kristi says:

    How wonderful to be able to relive some of your memories from childhood with your family! I can totally picture you skipping along the black and red checkerboard floor!

  8. Amy Kendrick says:

    I always loved staying at Seteca as a kid when we would make the long trek to the city to buy groceries and run errands. It was a pretty big deal!

    I have stayed there now as an adult on trips back to Guatemala and have also marveled at how it has remained virtually unchanged!

    I didn’t realize you lived there and that your dad was a professor there. Very cool!

    Amy Kendrick (Vasey)

    • Susan says:

      I lived in Guatemala City for 14 years and then went to college in the States. My dad was a professor for 20 years, so I went back to visit every Christmas and summer.

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