In 2017, we formed a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt organization in the United States to enable us to raise to provide financial resources to successful but underfunded programs and establish new ones backed by funding and experience in the Atitlan basin. This designation allows our donors to benefit from the tax deductible status of The Atitlan Fund through their gifts. We currently work with local NGOs, Amigos del Lago de Atitlan and Pintando El Cambio both with years of experience and a strong track record. For more information, or to support our work, please visit our Contact Us page.
Board of Directors
Chesley Juan Smith - President and Director
Dr. Sudeep Chandra - Secretary and Director
Claude D. Trombetta - Treasurer and Director
Dr. Eliska Rejmankova - Director
Dr. Stewart Oakley - Director
Our volunteer board is committed to overseeing the funding, management and execution of projects to preserve and restore the Lake Atitlan basin.
The Research Team
Dr. Rejmankova is a Professor at University of California, Davis in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. She specializes in ecosystem and community ecology with particular attention to aquatic and wetland environments. Her continued research with her students and two local universities, Universidad del Valle and Universidad de San Carlos in Lake Atitlan, has provided the quantification and improved understanding of biogeochemical process ecosystems that are being exposed to increasing nutrient inputs through human activities.
Dr. Chandra is Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the Department of Natural Resources, Limnology and Conservation Ecology. He is also Director of Global Water Center and Aquatic Ecosystems Laboratory and is Associate Director of the Castle Lake Environmental Research & Education Program. Through 10 years of doing research in the Atitlan Basin he has come to know other organizations that provide evaluation, conservation, education and research with the objective of implementing comprehensive solutions.
Dr. Oakley is a professor at California State University, Chico in the Department of Civil Engineering and specializes in environmental engineering, wastewater treatment and solid waste management. He has extensive experience in research, publications and presentations regarding municipal environmental management policies and the design and operation of water treatment facilities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Our Focus Area
The Atitlan basin is located in the department of Solola in Guatemala
Our Donors and Supporters
We could not do this work without their help
Amigos del Lago
Dr. Sudeep Chandra
John Foley, Esq.
Marguerite Gregory and Family
Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County Inc.
Dr. Stewart Oakley
Dr. Eliska Rejmankova
Chesley Juan Smith and Family
Kirsten Stevens and Family
The Kannico Agency
Jose Toriello and Family
Claude D. Trombetta Wilson and Family
Infrastructure, Wastewater Management, Community Engagement & Policy Change
Combining solutions for a viable outcome
Following many years of scientific research involving members of our board of directors, government institutions, and universities, proven technological solutions have been identified that are part of the sustainable long term measures to deal with wastewater management in the Atitlan Basin accompanied with Government Policy Change.
In October 2017 Amigos del Lago sponsored “Xocomil Científico” a scientific Summit In which 10 scientists 5 from Guatemala and 5 from around world were invited along with all private and public universities of Guatemala, local authorities, central government and private sector. The goal was to discuss and establish and present a consensual technical solution to solidify the international and local scientific community, private sector, and governmental relationships that are needed to conserve Lake Atitlan.
Reforestation & Watershed Reclamation
Hand in Hand with Conservation Education and Recycling and Solid Waste Management
One million trees and 2000 linear meters of "Tul" were planted thus far by students, local governments and other government agencies. Private companies and government agencies coordinated by Amigos del Lago, provide the tecnical know how, permits, sprouts and logistics: fire containment measures and general care and maintenance by hired villagers are performed throughout the year.
On march 9th. llegal hunters that camped in the southern skirts of the volcano Atitlan and started a small fire which, fanned by strong winds, has now turned into a ravishing fire destructing hundreds of acres.
Video Here Volcano Atitlan Fire
The Atitlán Volcano, which towers over 3,535 meters above sea level, is the Atitlán Basin's highest summit. Covered by lush forests, it is also the natural habitat of many species, which now, unfortunately, face an uncertain fate.
Local farmers and many volunteers, with the help of firefighters and the Guatemalan army, struggle to contain it as it threatened to destroy in its path the most important conglomerate of National Private Reserves of the Atitlán Region. With a combined extension of over 4,000 hectares, these reserves are home to several endangered species such as the resplendent Quetzal (Guatemala’s national bird), the almost extinct Puma, and Horned Guan.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time fires have devastated forests in the Atitlán basin. Through our partnership with Asociación Amigos del Lago Atitlán, The Atitlan Fund is working to provide medium and long-term solutions by reforesting forests that have been devastated by deforestation and forest fires and through supporting prevention activities in the Atitlán basin.
Please consider helping protect the valuable natural habitats of the Atitlán basin by donating to the Reforestation and Watershed Programs.
Public & Private Schools Conservation Education Course
Approved by the Ministry of Education
A Mandatory course sponsored and implemented by Amigos del Lago since 2016, has reached 184 schools, 17,000 students, 1100 Educators, and 1,400 Parents. These go hand in hand with Reforestation and Watershed Reclamation and Recycling and Solid Waste Management programs, educating the on the value of environmental preservation.
Recycling & Solid Waste Management Projects
Local Guatemalan women take on recycling program
Through women's empowerment projects, in a collective effort between 13 municipalities, private business, and Amigos del Lago, 1,600 women have organized. They have collected 400 tons of plastic, cardboard, glass for recycling that generated Q300,000 Quetzals in income that go back into the community.
Cooking Oil Recollection
Did you know that a pint of cooking oil in a lake could cover the surface area of an acre of water?
Throughout 2019, Amigos del Lago together with local businesses saved 41,000 acres of Lake Atitlán's surface water from cooking oil contamination, 128% of its surface area. We need to continue practical and straightforward actions to save Lake Atitlan. A simple work collecting cooking oil in the Atitlan Basin is critical to keep pollution out of this beautiful lake. Oil is sold to soap making factories. This project is not yet sustainable, and we need to provide more funds with your help to improve reach and logistics!
Art to Protomote Social Change & Community Engagement, While Preserving Culture & Traditions
Art Culture and Community Engagement Bringing Progress
Painting for Change Pintando el Cambio promotes art for social change, painting houses using traditional designs. This action encourages community engagement while preserving culture and traditions in Santa Catarina Palopo. Pintando el Cambio facilitates community engagement, provides technical support, skilled labor, and supplies to paint houses and public buildings using the communities' traditional designs. This project is transforming its first community of 6800, Santa Catarina Palopó, one of 19 municipalities surrounding the lake.
The Rostro Maya Plan
The Cerro del Oro plan
The San Pedro plan
The Toliman plan
The Atitlán plan
301 W. Atlantic Avenue Suite 0-5
Delray Beach Fl. 33444
We'd love to tell you more about what we do!
Charitable Solicitation Registration CH#59145
A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free 1-800-435-7352 within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.