The Lake Atitlán Environmental Interests Group (LAEIG)
We are an all-volunteer group, established in early 2016, supported by a variety of people from around Lake Atitlán and around the world who are passionate about saving the lake. Our members are lake management experts, environmentalists, farmers, fishermen, local leaders, community associations, school teachers, business owners, and other volunteers.
Saving Lake Atitlán before it becomes contaminated beyond the point of recovery will take a cohesive plan of action, massive mobilization, and effective management and stewardship of remediation projects. If we wait for all this to be done by the Guatemalan government, it will be too late to save the lake. Just as they let Lake Amatitlán die, they aren’t doing much to save Lake Atitlán either.
So we are making it happen now. If we mobilize and organize, together we will save the lake.
Our current projects are collaborative efforts with a range of partners: municipal administrations, non-governmental organizations, diverse community associations, AMSCLAE, and many, many local and international volunteers.
We are incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the State of Kansas, as Lake Atitlán Environmental Interests Foundation.
Founder/Executive Director. An expert with over 20 years’ experience in the field of Lake Management, Shawn brings to the Team an extensive knowledge of Project Management, Bioremediation and Phytoremediation. He’s responsible for the vision, strategy, development and coordination of projects as we piece together the puzzle of remediating Lake Atitlán.
Science Advisor. Jonathan’s relevant experience includes biological control of invasive species, biostatistics, and, as former Director of Research & Development at Earth Economics, calculation of the economic benefits of ecosystem services to society. He is also interested in application of blockchain solutions to issues such as Fair Trade supply chain, Organic Certification, Cooperatives, and Public Health.
Director of Watershed Management
Watershed Management Specialist. Ernesto is currently working as the Director of Watersheds and Special Projects at MARN (Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales). Ernesto has a deep love for Lake Atitlan and a lot of “heart for the work” of saving it.
Director of Risk Management
Risk Management Specialist. Jairo currently works with MARN as an Assessor for the National Coordination Director specializing in Risk Management.
Filmmaker. Emma is a multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker with over 20 years’ experience. She cut her teeth at the BBC Natural History Unit and now runs www.greenlanefilms.co.uk – a production company dedicated to helping organisations affect change through video. Her films about the Transition Movement (In Transition 1.0 and 2.0) have helped inspire communities to come together and take action.
Director of Development
Development Specialist. Gayla is an editor, writer, and administrator, with extensive experience in nonprofit management, grantwriting, sustainable technologies, ecovillages, and intentional community.
Director of Agricultural Applications
Agricultural Applications Specialist. Gaspar is an Agroforestry Technician and Mathematician trained at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. Gaspar is integral in community relations within the indigenous community and for facilitating community outreach projects. He also handles project coordination with local Associations.
Director of Communications
Communications Specialist. Maureen has 16 years’ experience operating a website design and marketing company. She co-founded a community social network, www.thelocalgood.ca, to bring together local organizations and individuals interested in alternative energy, local economies, sustainable living practices, the environment and social justice issues, to work together for the common good of all.
Director of Wastewater Management
Wastewater Management Specialist. Estuardo is an Agroforestal Engineer at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala Altiplano campus. Estuardo is in charge of both the water quality chemistry lab and the field work at Lake Atitlán, overseeing sampling and testing procedures.
Coffee Transition Coordinator
Coffee Transition Coordinator. Andres is the President of APROCAMCA Organic Coffee Growers Cooperative and is integral in helping chemical coffee farmers convert to Organic. APROCAMCA was formed as an Association to facilitate the marketing of High Quality Organic Coffee and provide an avenue for local Farmers to convert to Organic Practices in response to the chemical fertilizer inflow problem contributing to the destruction of Lake Atitlan.