Brief historical review of the Diocese of Colon - Kuna Yala:
The Christian faith came for the first time to our isthmian land, as Good News, with Saint Mary of Bethlehem, (today Diocese of Colon - Kuna Yala),
in the year 1503. Ten years later, in 1513, the Good News crystallized in the constitution of the first diocese of mainland under the name of Santa María La Antigua.
Our Christian faith is integrated, from its beginning, into our history, imbued with a persistent and gentle Marian effluvium..
This diocese did not prosper (Pedrarias and Balboa were involved) and, in fact, in 1524 was transferred by Pope Clement VII to the city
of Panama La Vieja.
What is now the Darién province, the Guna Yala district and the province of Colon, formed part of the Archdiocese of Panama until 1925 when Darién, Guna Yala and Colon
formed the Apostolic Vicariate of Darien with its headquarters in Colon and entrusted to the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
The Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Claretians, has supplied missionaries, first of the Province of the United States and then, in 1969,
of the Province of Castilla, Spain, until 1994. Today the Claretian missionaries belong to the Province Central American
Among the most outstanding figures of this Church, Fr. José Volk deserves special mention. At age 65, he covered from his residence in Colón, the entire Atlantic coast to Bocas del Toro.
To the eminent figure of Father Volk, the Pauline Fathers happened, who, in 1915, moved to live in the center of Colón, Church of San José. There began the apostolate the worthy Father Peter Burns,
of pleasant and indelible memory for the oldest colonenses.
In 1895 the Sisters of Charity arrived in Colón, brought by the French to take care of the workers who got sick during the construction of the canal. The Brothers de la Salle began their apostolate of Christian
education in Colon in 1904; and in 1907 Fr. Leonardo Gassó, a Jesuit, takes the Gospel to the Islands of San Blas or the Guna Yala region. Together with these missionaries, a small group of missionaries from the
Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul, Paulines, have worked.
During the 63 years of the Vicariate of Darien (1925-1988) the five Apostolic Vicars have always been Claretians.
On December 19, 1988 with the bull "Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam" of S.S. John Paul II, the Diocese of Colon - Kuna Yala is created, being its first bishop His Excellency Mons. Carlos María Ariz, cmf, who had been governing
it as an Apostolic Vicariate for eight years.
The current Diocese of Colon - Kuna Yala includes the entire province of Colon and the region of Guna Yala. With deep satisfaction we can ensure full pastoral coverage throughout the diocesan territory. Our tireless priests,
religious and laity, periodically visit all the communities of the Costa Abajo, Costa Arriba, Guna Yala, as well as the small rural communities scattered throughout the suburban area.
Our missionary goal is for the Kingdom of Jesus, the Kingdom of love, justice and peace to spread with true effusion among all human beings, especially among the poorest and most needy, because we all enjoy the same rights as
children of God. Therefore, as a fruit of the Gospel of Jesus, all the pastors of our Church have endeavored to promote development among the neediest.
For the glory of God and the joy of the entire Diocese of Colon - Kuna Yala, on August 6, 2005, the first Diocesan Bishop, S.E.R., was ordained. Mons. Audilio Aguilar Aguilar. In his inaugural address he expressed his work plan
which consists in the promotion of the poor, the attention to the marginalized, the young and the promotion of native priestly vocations.
Since September 27, 2014, our diocese has a new bishop, Bishop Manuel Ochogavía Barahona; who has begun to work arduously, seeking unity among all and the good of the people of God entrusted to him.