Rich biodiversity and source of income
Lake Atitlán with its surface of 130 sq. km is the third largest freshwater lake in Guatemala. It is situated in the western highlands of Guatemala. The lake is approx. 12 km wide and 10 km long and lies at an altitude of 1,560 m. In spite of the rich biodiversity, landscape and culture, the region is the poorest in Guatemala. The population depends on subsistence cropping, added by incomes from the tourism, because Lake Atitlán is the second most visited tourist place in Guatemala.
Sika supports clean water
The GNF partner "Vivamos Mejor" started in 2010 extensive water testing. Scientific studies of water quality and recording of biodiversity in and around the Atitlán basin were completed. After the destruction of a newly constructed filter plant by a thunderstorm and due to the difficult topography a suitable site for the construction of a new green filter has not been found yet.
As an alternative, in 2011 50 families were equipped with so-called "Biodigestores". Those instruments are small filter plants. They are inexpensive to build and easy to maintain and thus very suitable for buildings that can not be connected to the sewer system.