Juan Francisco Jara was born in Cauquenes, but moved to Santiago at a very early age. He took several courses in Fine Arts, and began his comics career at Editorial Zig Zag as Abel Romero's assistant in 1964. Jara soon became one of the most productive artists for the many Zig Zag publications, starting with the story 'Salvamento en la Antártida' in Okey in February, 1965. He drew for the science fiction mags Robot, Rocket ('El Profesor Von Hagel') and Infinito, and for the adventure and historical titles, like Mundos Fabulosos, Hazañas Históricas and Sueños Maravillosos.
He is best known for his work on the 'Mawa' series with writer Juan Marino in Jungla magazine. Also in Jungla, he illustrated several 'Elundi' episodes. He also did many covers and interiors for Guerrillero, and cover illustrations for Far West and Espía 13. When Zig Zag became Quimantú in the early 1970's, Jara contributed anonymously to Dr. Mortis. He was also present in Mampato.
In the late 1970's, he drew for educational supplements of the newspaper Las Últimas Noticias, working on series like 'Personajes legendarios de Chile'. Then in the 1980's, he did the wild west series 'El paso del Diablo' in La Tercera. Juan Jara Quiñonas eventually focused on painting.