Our main focus
Guatemala is the second poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean. In contrast to the rest of the region, poverty rates have been increasing in recent years. Especially in rural areas, the population lacks access to basic infrastructure, in particular to improved drinking water and sanitation. 83% of the population lacks access to a sanitation service, and only 4% of the wastewater and sewage is treated properly, while the big majority flows into water bodies, polluting lakes, rivers, lagoons. This is why we decided to focus all our efforts on this country.
Lake Atitlan is facing high contamination risks since all the communities around the lake discard their excreta – along with plastic garbage, chemicals and agricultural wastewater – into water streams that flow directly into the lake, mostly – 89% – without any filtration system.
Daily, 43 million liters of wastewaters enter the lake. In 2018 Lake Atitlan was declared in danger: the environmental consequences of many years of indiscriminate pollution are affecting the ecosystem, along with the population.
Our response comprises the creation of the Mosan sanitation system with collection stations in the participating communities, transportation to a treatment plant, distribution of the resulting products (biochar and struvite), and involvement of local institutions, industries, and NGOs.
Santa Catarina Palopó is the first community where the Mosan solution is currently being implemented. In this beautiful Mayan community accommodating approximately 1.000 families, only 1,9% of the toilets are connected to the municipal sewage, the rest of them being latrines, septic tanks, simple pits in the ground. Environmental education and social awareness are fundamental aspects that need to be fostered in these areas, and they represent a key step of our approach.