The Spanish built two churches in the Lamanai area. The Spanish first appeared at Lamanai about 1544. The first church was built over an existing Postclassic building at about 1570. As with many colonization/conquering attempts by European nations conversion to Christian practices was done by substituting one religious practice for another. A second larger church later supplanted this first church, at about 1600.
In the 1630's rebellion broke out among the southern lowland Maya. When the Spanish Fathers visited Lamanai on their way to Tipu in 1641 they found the church burnt and the area abandoned. Later when the Maya returned evidence shows they continued to use the area as a sacred space. They erected a stela and a small platform in the burnt out second church.
The Maya had a practice of burying offerings to dedicate constructions. The Jaguar figurine was cached at Lamanai's first Spanish church.
The crocolile reproduction is the bicephalic crocodilian effigy found in the ruins of the Spanish Church.