News Release

Church Breaks Ground for Cobán Guatemala Temple

Temple will be the third in the country

Construction is slated to begin for the Cobán Guatemala Temple following a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, November 14, 2020. It was uncertain if the groundbreaking would be held today since the region was battered by Hurricane Eta a week ago causing more than 100 deaths. Thousands of residents remain without electricity. 

In attendance, limited because of local COVID-19 restrictions, was Ingeniero Ariel Hasses from the Municipality of Cobán and Monsignor Rodolfo Valenzuela Nuñez, Bishop of the Diocese of Verapaz.

Elder Brian K. Taylor, Central America Area president, presided at the event and offered the dedicatory prayer. 

"Oh God, our Eternal Father," prayed Elder Taylor. "In the name of Jesus Christ, I joyfully dedicate this sacred spot of ground in Coban, Guatemala, for the construction of one of Thy and Thy Beloved Son’s sacred Temples."

He continued, "Endow all Thy Saints, we pray dear Father, with an extraordinary love for and brightened hope in Thy Sanctuary as a mighty Refuge from the storm."


The temple in Cobán, located in the highlands of central Guatemala, will be the country’s third temple. Church president, Russell M. Nelson, announced the temple in October 2019. The country has two temples currently in operation, including the Guatemala City Guatemala Temple and the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple. 

"As we dedicate this property, we likewise dedicate ourselves to honor Thee always in 'Holiness to the Lord,'" Elder Taylor said near the end of the dedictory prayer. "Wilt Thou accept our offering and may Thy grace and presence abide here and in our lives always is our humble prayer and earnest petition."

The Cobán Guatemala Temple will be built on a 5.4-acre site adjacent to 4a. Avenida 4-48 Zona 8, Barrio Bella Vista, in Cobán, Guatemala. Plans call for a single-story temple of approximately 8,800 square feet. A meetinghouse and temple patron housing will also be built on the site. 

In October 2020, Russell M. Nelson announced a fourth temple in Guatemala, the Greater Guatemala City Temple, which will be the second temple in Guatemala City. 

Other cities with two temples announced, under construction, or in operation include South Jordan, Utah (Oquirrh Mountain Temple, Jordan River Temple); Provo, Utah (Provo Utah Temple, Provo City Center Temple); Lima, Peru (Lima Peru Temple, Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple); and Manila, Philippines (Manila Philippines Temple, Alabang Philippines Temple). 

Two local Latter-day Saints, Lucy Margarita Poou Chiquín and Julio César Ovalle Cuz shared their testimonies at the groundbreaking service. 

Nearly 300,000 Latter-day Saints in approximately 450 congregations reside in Guatemala. Missionaries first arrived in the Central American country in 1947. There are now seven missions. 

Upon its completion and prior to its dedication, a public open house will be scheduled. Details for the open house and temple dedication will be announced at a future date. 

Latter-day Saints consider temples to be the “house of the Lord” and the most sacred places of worship on the earth. Temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses (chapels). All are welcome to attend Sunday worship services and other weekday activities at local meetinghouses. The primary purpose of temples, however, is for faithful members of the Church to participate in sacred ceremonies, such as marriages that unite families forever and proxy baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors who did not have the opportunity while living. 

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.