Navarino launches a Global Environmental Action Plan in Central America

Mar 20, 2023 | CSR News

On March 9th, 2023, Akis and Vula– who have been travelling around the world overland in a 4×4 Iveco camper since 2019 (thanks to Navarino’s sponsorship) – visited Lisi School in San Juan La Laguna, a village on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. This volcanic lake, at 1,562 meters altitude and considered “the most beautiful in the world”, is facing environmental issues such as water contamination that causes fish-threatening diseases; overpopulation in lakeside communities; lack of waste treatment/trash management; and deforestation.

Dense population and post-pandemic tourism are also posing challenges for Lake Atitlan and other nearby places in Guatemala. Maya villages such as San Juan La Laguna – where most locals speak Tz’utujil language – produce more “basura” (trash), plastic, glass and metal than they can manage. As a result, the outskirts of the village are sadly “decorated” by entire fields of plastic bottles, cans, trash and snack bags; these are also the daily playgrounds for numerous stray dogs looking for food. All this waste ends up either in surrounding rain forests or at the bottom of the lake.

Akis, and Vula met with Lisi School students and volunteers from all over the world to talk about environmental protection. Then they formed a group with 20 people; provided large plastic bags together with medical gloves before calling everyone to take action by collecting trash, plastic and metal/glass waste into groups of three: trash; plastic; glass/metal respectively.

The activity was painstaking yet rewarding under wet tropical environment; by noon 35 large bags were collected which were then taken to an appropriate disposal site by a volunteering local truck driver. We may not have cleaned up the entire village – we would need 10 times more effort for that – but we certainly made a start!

The day finished with an extra surprise for Lisi school students who still get educated on 60-year old typewriters: Navarino bought a 16” Dell laptop from local market which was then donated to school so that teachers & students can have minimum modern equipment available for work purposes!

Next stop for Navarino’s Global Environmental Action plan will be El Salvador; stay tuned for more!