Santa Cruz La Laguna

Lake Atitlan is dotted by Mayan villages along and above its shorelines. Settled in the 1500's, all have persisted and changed, most remaining solidly Mayan (in modern guise); others becoming more tourist and expat-centered. All benefit from a remarkable setting and lovely climate, and suffer from catastrophic rain events, flooding, and periodic algae blooms. (Click on the photos for a better image; the blogger app didn't resize them like Blogsy does, but is a bit easier for posting with iPhone based photos on an iPad!)

Lake Atitlan in the morning

Lakeside view beyond Santa Cruz La Laguna

We were interested in the CECAP initiative that helps encourage skill building in young local people: carpentry, culinary skills, sewing, etc.  In a country where ~50% of the Mayan population lives below the poverty line (for Guatemala), expanding opportunities for young people who otherwise might not be able to stay in school because of financial needs of family (needing their help in the fields and elsewhere).

They're surrounded by a non-profit based in Seattle, and seem to be doing good things.

This was typical of the house in the Mayan town, with electricity and running water, but most houses using wood as their source of cooking fuel.

An exception was the lovely kitchen in the non- profit cafe, where the students in the culinary program cook delicious food for breakfast and lunch.

The entire program (all skills) has had over 600 students from the village over the 6 years.  The cafe and workshop space is expanding this year.  They're doing good work.


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