When a dwelling reached the end of its practical life it was simply burned, and a replacement erected in its place in about a day's time.The former Spanish settlement at Sajavit lies within that area occupied during the late Paleoindian period and continuing on into the present day by the Native American society commonly known as the Juaneño; Many contemporary Juaneño, who identify themselves as descendents of the indigenous society living in the local San Juan and San Mateo Creek drainage areas, have adopted the indigenous term Acjachemen.The site was originally consecrated on October 30, 1775, by Fermín Lasuén, but was quickly abandoned due to unrest among the indigenous population in San Diego.
More than 69 former inhabitants (mostly Juaneño Indian marked graves in the Mission's cemetery) (campo santo). John O'Sullivan, who recognized the property's historic value and working tirelessly to conserve and rebuild its structures, are buried at the entrance to the cemetery on the west side of the property, and a statue raised in his honor stands at the head of the crypt.
For the present-day parish church located at the mission, see Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano.
For the mission of the same name in Texas, see Mission San Juan Capistrano (Texas).
While the placement of residential huts in a village was not regulated, the ceremonial enclosure (Vanquech) and the chief's home were most often centrally located.
Relatively much is known about the native inhabitants in recent centuries, thanks in part to the efforts of the Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who documented his observations of life in the coastal villages he encountered along the Southern California coast in October 1542.