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 sanitation, and only 4% of the wastewater and sewage is treated properly, while the big majority flows into water bodies, polluting lakes, rivers, and lagoons.
Lake Atitlán is facing high contamination risks since wastewater from communities around the lake – along with garbage, and agricultural wastewater – flows into water streams that lead directly into the lake, mostly – 89% – without any filtration.
Daily, 43 million liters of wastewaters enter the lake. In 2018 Lake Atitlán was declared in danger: the environmental consequences of many years of indiscriminate pollution are affecting the ecosystem and the population.
Our response comprises the creation of the Mosan Sanitation System with collection stations in the participating communities, transportation to treatment plants, distribution of the recycling products (biochar and struvite), and involvement of the population, 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 system, the rest of them being latrines, septic tanks, andsimple pits. Environmental education and social awareness are fundamental aspects that need to be fostered in these areas, and represent a key step of our approach.