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 wastewater 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, including collection stations in the participating communities, transportation of human excreta to our transformation center, safe treatment and transformation into biochar and struvite, and the active involvement of the population, local institutions, industries, and NGOs in our co-creative approach.
Santa Catarina Palopó is the first community where the Mosan solution is currently operating. 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, and simple 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.
Mosan in numbers
Sanitation around Lake Atitlán
If 600 households use Mosan for one year, we can approximately collect 98 tons of feces. The same weight as 14 big elephants.
Capacity Building Workshop on sanitation and hygiene with the lovely people from Santa Catarina Palopó.
On July 30, the Mosan team met the local community of Santa Catarina Palopó, to present our sanitation solution to a group of citizens. The […]