TUL REFORESTATION CAMPAIGN
Starting small – current activities
We are coordinating a campaign, involving the Tuleros’ associations and many other organizations and volunteers, to reforest every plantable area of Lake Atitlán with tul. In 2016 we worked with local Tuleros’ associations, AMSCLAE, and CONAP to map out the areas that would benefit from tul reforestation.
Initially we are focusing reforestation efforts around eight towns: San Marcos, Jaibalito, Santa Cruz, San Pablo, Tzununa, San Lucas, San Juan, and Santiago Atitlán. The water levels and accessible substrate on the shoreline in front of these towns make them ideal for tul replanting. Our medium-term goal is to plant a total of 2,400 meters of tul in these locations. Within two years, there will be fully established tul forests in each area that we plant.
Tul for replanting comes from three sources: a public access forest managed by CONAP; individuals or businesses with tul forests on their property; and Tuleros who have their own tul forests.
We have raised enough money for the Tuleros to plant every week in Santiago bay and for bi-weekly planting days in other locations, where Tuleros and volunteers work together and plant an average of 50 meters each time. Many volunteers come from ¡Sembremos Tul! (a community-based organization in San Marcos la Laguna), Rotary E-Club Lake Atitlán, and Rotaract Ascension de Guatemala, and we are always joined by local residents and visitors to the lake. Watch our short video Tul Forests for Lake Atitlán (above) to see how it’s done.
We have already planted tul in approximately 25% of the plantable areas of the lake – see the map below of areas that we’ve already planted. That’s a huge achievement that shows the potential of grassroots initiatives like this when lots of people get involved and work together! The next stage is to finish planting in the eight towns listed above. After that we need to move on to places like Panajachel and San Pedro la Laguna – two of the biggest towns on the lake that produce significant inflows of nutrients and pathgens.
Total: US$ 7,750
Raised so far: US$ 5,500
US$ 5,500 to pay the Tuleros for 12 months
US$ 1,400 to rent a boat to transport tul and stones
US$ 850 for materials to promote the campaign and raise awareness for a whole year
Why we need your help
We cannot sit back and wait for the authorities and power-brokers to take action. The money that should be there to prevent the impending environmental devastation in the Atitlán basin simply is not – not from government, and not from big international donors.
So we depend on people like you to support remediation efforts. We are applying for small grants for all our planned projects, but this takes time and as a new organization it is difficult to get our first project grant. We sustain the tul reforestation campaign week-to-week through individual donations.
The communities of Lake Atitlán are ready to take action. Their health and livelihoods depend on the lake, and they are already living with the environmental consequences of decades of disinformation, corruption, and neglect. By working together and enlisting the help of a global community of people who care about our Mother Earth, we can save Lake Atitlán.
Read about our other projects
Learn more about threats to Lake Atitlán
What are the main sources of contamination?
What are the worst effects of contamination?
Learn more about natural, low-cost, proven solutions