Teach Through Educational Travel: Guatemala
- Look at these pictures via satellite of the blooms of algae that have formed from polluted and toxic water. These blooms are cyanobacteria, which are toxic to animals (including humans). While some indigenous people are skimming and removing the blooms by hand, something larger needs to be done. Scientists and researchers are visiting and sharing their knowledge in the hopes of effecting change. Read of theproblems and possible solutions. How do you think scientists and governments around the world can work with these indigenous communities to save the lake?
- The local Mayan indigenous population is trying to cope with the dying lake, as well as make their living from the land – and tourists. Read this article – especially the section on means of survival. What do you think the impact of tourism is on these communities? How can tourists travel sustainably, and make travel choices that have the least negative impact on the planet and the places we’re visiting?
- Are you interested in archaeology, Mayan culture, and history? In 1997, local diver Roberto Samayoa discovered an underwater archaeological site, the historic city of Samabaj. Since then, he’s worked with a team of archaeologists and movie makers to document the excavation and study of Samabaj. Watch this trailer or the full movie, if you have the time. Then read the Director of Mayan Blue talk of the archaeological discoveries (and patience required to produce this documentary over five years). Where would you like to explore? Can you imagine finding an underwater city? How do you think the pollution of Lake Atitlan affects these underwater archaeological discoveries?