Sustainability In Guatemala

Written By Lucia

Hello! Lucia here with what we’ve been doing for the past two weeks. First we spent a week in El Paredon where we worked with La Choza Chula, a sustainable development organization dedicated to improving the community of El Paredon. They funded a school and they provide employment to many people in the community by offering tours around different parts of El Paredon. La Choza Chula gave us tours of the mangroves and sea turtles and we took bracelet making and cooking classes with local women. We took workshops with La Choza Chula about sustainable development why it’s important to support people in need by creating infrastructure that communities can use to help themselves instead of simple charity. Another workshop we took was about the banana supply chain and ways that we can be intelligent consumers. We spent our afternoons playing in the waves, taking surf lessons and acclimating to Guatemalan beach life. There was an insane amount of mosquitos and humidity and an equally insane amount deet and smoothies to combat both.

After a pizza night sendoff with the staff of La Choza Chula, we headed to Tzununa, a community on the shore of Lake Atitlan. The Bambu was our hotel for the week and in my opinion earns the award for ‘Most Vegetables Available for Any Given Meal’ and ‘Best Views of Lake Atitlan From Any Balcony’. We partnered with Atitlan Organics for the week to learn about permaculture and more sustainable ways of farming and living. Our mornings were spent touring farms, planting beds, and learning how to make cheese. Our afternoons were spent in lectures with Shad Qudsi (yes you read that correctly) about the principles of agriculture and how even those of us city dwellers can use permaculture to improve our lives. Throughout the week we had other activities sprinkled in like visiting a permaculture community, shopping in a traditional Guatemalan market in Santiago, swimming in the lake, kayaking in San Marcos, killing and butchering chickens at Shad’s farm, and karaoke night.

Onto the next place!