This week's Photo of the Week of a kayuko boatman gathering tul was taken by Mary Brunell.
View the Photos of the Week archive at: http://santacruzlalaguna.weebly.com/photos.html
There are no special events happening at the Lake this week, but please take note that Facebook has changed the look of our Lake Atitlan Events Page and the Calendar is not as noticeable as it was. It is now just a tab. Simply bookmark the calendar link below.
Check out the regular weekly listings on the Lake Atitlan Events Calendar,
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This Monday, 23 June it will be very hard to navigate on several roads in Guatemala and the capital due to a protest organized by the Council of Mayan Peoples of the West (CPO), and supported by other social groups. It is expected that the strike will start at eight and end at noon.
The marches will focus on the Capital, Quetzaltenango, Totonicapan, Solola, Chimaltenango, Quiché and San Marcos City. It is also expected that south coast organizations will participate in the "National Strike".
Udiel Miranda, member of the CPO, explained that the strikes will protest against mining activities and incidents that have occurred in La Puya; Barillas, Huehuetenango and San Juan Sacatepequez. Also denounced "the criminalization of the movement."
Miranda said they have no plans to meet with any authority and that they will only demand respect for Mayan peoples.
These are the places where there will be blockades:
Molino de Las Flores, Resume
Viaduct area and connection to route 15 to El Salvador
San Rafael, zone 18
Monument Tecum Uman
Junction to San Francisco El Alto
Rancho de Teja (road to San Pedro Jocopilas Huehuetenango)
Km 138, Nahualá
Gated entrance to Santa Cruz del Quiche
Zaragoza, Gasoline PUMA entry Comalapa
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As we all probably know, the Guatemalan government has regularly distributed chemical fertilizers to small farmers around Guatemala and the Lake. We also know that these high phosphate chemical fertilizers have been a contributing factor to the growth of cyanobacteria in Lake Atitlán.
AMSCLAE has released a press communication detailing some changes that have occurred in the fertilizers that are being distributed. According to the press release,
"AMSCLAE, has worked in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA), coordinating processes to improve the use of chemical fertilizers. This year saw the development of a special formula called 20/03/17 (Nitrogen - Phosphate - Potasium) fertilizer. This formula contains low amounts of the phosphorus element (03) and is intended to be used in combination with organic fertilizers and agricultural lime. This new formula improves soil productivity and is being distributed with complete success in all municipalities of the Department of Sololá, except in the municipality of Sololá."
The new formula was developed as a result of soil analysis and scientific studies by PROSOL ANACAFE and Canadian Cooperation Project when it was determined that the soils of the department of Sololá do not require lots of phosphorus.
But why was the new formula fertilizer not distributed in the municipality of Sololá? Because at a meeting in February the indigenous mayors of the town of Sololá rejected the new formula that was scheduled for delivery this year. They demanded evidence that the new formula would be effective. Volunteers were solicited to try out the new formula and AMSCLAE committed resources to the study. Meanwhile, MAGA gave in to the demands of the indigenous mayors of Sololá and distributed to that municipality the traditional formulas of 15-15-15 and 20-20-0.
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From 5 May through 10 June AMSCLAE, along with several other governmental authorities, conducted a bathymetric study of the depth and bottom of Lake Atitlán. The first study was done in 1972 and was subsequently updated in 1980.
The overall objective of the bathymetric survey was to:
- Obtain morphological information of Lake Atitlán and its watershed in order to observe the changes caused by sediment and get updated for the sustainable management of the lake and its land use.
- Mapping with contours and lake bottom profiles in digital and print formats to integrate a Geographic Information System (GIS).
- Locate the structures of the submerged Mayan city of Samabaj (Guatemalan underwater heritage).
- Catchment area: 541 km2
- Lake Area: 124 km2
- Average depth: 187.69 m
- Volume of water: ~ 25 km3
- The largest lake in Central America by volume.
- Early Transition to oligotrophic mesotrophic.
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A conference is being held at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala in Sololá on Wednesday, 25 June starting at 9 a.m. The theme is Biobeds: Biotechnology for a better environment and is led by Dr. Maria del Pilar Castillo. The conference is free but it is requested that your reserve your space via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is part of the 2nd Latin American Biobed Workshop to be held 26-27 of June. For more info see: http://www.biobeds.org/User_files/1d0cdc4b06450039fa846ced983e1da0.pdf
Biobeds are a type of biopurification system that are created to collect, retain and degrade pesticide residues resulting from agricultural pesticide use and have the potential to reduce pollution of surface waters. A biobed system usually involves creating a lined pit that contains mixtures of straw, soil and peat-free compost that is covered in turf.
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Here is the monthly schedule for Ayuda Sterilization Clinics:
1st Thursday - Panajachel; Contact: Selaine
2nd Thursday - Solola; Contact: Dr. Isael Estrada Atz 7762 4853
3rd Thursday - San Marcos La Laguna; Contact: David Sacach Kan Balam
4th Thursday or Saturday - Santiago Atitlan or Chukmuk; Contact: Celada Mario PM for his cell number.
These clinics are for dogs and cats of indigenous locals as well as for roaming community dogs and cats. Others are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to see if they qualify for the low-cost donation rate of Q300.
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We have had an absolutely beautiful week here at the Lake! Many days with clear skies and fluffy clouds!
Rainfall in Paxanax for the week of June 16 - June 22: 1.4 inches or 3.556 cm.
Click this link to view the Rainfall Report on Google Drive: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1b6pM1oRFAZl-UdQzrF7a4XzKMDCb8V36it5Fcj4859I/edit?usp=sharing
*** The Mayan glyph Kawoq symbolizes rain, lightning and thunder, water and air. It also represents the collective consciousness. ***
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