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I write this blog about ecotourism because I have a big interest in this topic and I do think it can make a difference. I want to share what I find/think interesting about it.
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Do Not Let Lake Atitlan Die!

Santiago (on right) and Lago Atitlan from Volc...Image via Wikipedia

I lived in Guatemala for a few months in 2006 and I have to say it is a country with breathtaking landscapes. If you ask me which one might be the best of all, I would go for the lake Atitlan, especially when you arrive there from the road: as you drive down to the lake you just realize how big all the elements are (lake, volcanoes, waterfalls). You truly feel overwhelmed by nature.

However pleasure does not last as you realize to what extent the place has been corrupted by tourism: pollution, drugs and the uniformity of hotels, restaurants and other gringo things have transformed this gorgeous place into a non Guatemalan land. Moreover, the lake has been hit hard by pollution as housing pressure and the lack (or even absence) of recycling facilities have transformed clear waters into a murky lake.
And now this article from Time that shows the ecosystem of the lake is dying, even explaining that people should not use the water because it can endanger their health. Consequently, all these pollutions have created the perfect combination for the development of a blue-green algae that has invaded the lake. For all of this, Lake Atitlan has been declared the "Threatened Lake of the Year 2009" by the Global Nature Fund.

I know that unfortunately this ecological catastrophe is one among too many, but this one makes me really sad. I went there and enjoyed it despite all the negative elements. It seems impossible that we let one natural wonders of our planet disappear without doing anything. I have been doing some research on the Internet to find a NGO I could donate to, but without success yet. if you know anything about it, please leave a comment. I am convinced that this place deserves a lot more than just being a memory and another example of human destruction.

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