With Earth Day just past in April, my mind keeps coming back to how better care for this earth the Lord has placed us on.
Here in Guatemala it is difficult for many people to be very concerned about environmental concerns because of their daily struggle for living and raising their families. However, I feel much of what they do has a smaller impact on the environment that our lives in the U.S.
This is a school project to collect trash and fill plastic water bottles with the trash to use as insulation for an information center in San Juan La Laguna.
Many ride a bus or bicycle for transportation and many just simply walk to where they are going in the villages mainly because they can´t afford vehicles. If they go a longer distance they might use the public transportation which is often the chicken bus or ride in the back of the pickup.
However, school children are beginning to be taught how to care for the environment at school and there are even reforestation projects around the lake that are taking place after Hurricane Stan in 2005.
Very few Styrofoam containers are seen because there is not as much take out of food as in the States. Most, when eating, out actually sit down and eat in a restaurant or even at a street cart that has a couple of stools for customers to use.
Clerks ask if you need a bag for your purchases because they expect you to have a tote with you. Locals buy water or juice in a small plastic bag because that is cheaper than a plastic bottle of water.
Many women around Lake Atitlan wash their clothing at the lakeshore.
Most cook with wood here in the highlands which does cause problems of deforestation but there are laws that you can only cut dry/dead wood. There are non-profits organizations working to get more families to use an efficient wood burning kitchen stove.
As Guatemalan schoolchildren become more aware of being eco-friendly hopefully attitudes and ideas will change when they become adults.