Juanita García Peraza

(1897-1970)

Born into a Catholic family, when her family moved to their townhouse in Arecibo, García Peraza became extremely ill. She made a promise to Mita God that if she was cured, she would always serve him. 

García Peraza converted to the Protestant religion of the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal M.I., and then left the church with 11 other members who followed her to start their own religion. In 1940, she and her followers founded their own church in Arecibo, and in 1947 she relocated to the current location of Hato Rey, a suburb of San Juan. They claimed that "The Holy Spirit Spirit of Life" revealed to García Peraza the new name of "Mita". They started calling themselves "Mitas" and their religion "the Mita congregation". According to the Mita faith, Mita is the new name of the Holy Ghost on earth and Mita God has chosen a successor before (Peraza) dies.

The first branch of the church outside of Puerto Rico was established in New York City. The church has expanded to MexicoColombiaVenezuelaDominican RepublicCosta RicaPanamaEl SalvadorCanadaCuraçaoEcuador and Spain.

Before her death she appointed her 'spiritual son'  Teófilo Vargas Sein ("Aarón"), was appointed Prophet of God. Puerto Rico honored Juanita García Peraza's memory by naming an elementary school after her in San Juan.The house where Mita lived in Arecibo, known as Casa de la Diosa Mita, is on the National Register of Historic Places, although it is dilapidated and empty.

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