Guatemala 1859-1875

Favoring the return of religious congregations in his country, the President of Guatemala, Rafael Carrera (1838-1865) encouraged their involvement in education. In 1859, after two years of negotiations with Archbishop Garcia Peláez, Mère Constantine agreed to send sisters to educate young girls in Guatemala. 

Seven Belgian sisters were chosen as pioneers: Sisters Hermance (Jeanne Van Puyflick), Marie Aloysie (Nathalie Bosteels), Marie Beatrix (Rosalie de Cal), Mathias (Rosazlie Eeckhoudt), Marie de St. Patrice (Charlotte Verdon), Julie de St. Joseph (Anna Dur) et Marie Philippine (Sidonie Portemer). On December 1, 1859, they landed in Guatemala and settled in Belén. In 1865, the sisters took on the responsibility of an orphanage and in 1870, they took charge of the College San José in Ciudad Vieja. In all, three groups of sisters had come from Europe. The children numbered more than a thousand and several Guatemalan women entered the Congregation. 

But in 1875, when power fell into the hands of liberals and the French Masons, all religious congregations were expelled from Guatemala. The sisters (38 professed, three novices and one postulant) became part of the California Province.