EG Robert Muller Life School in Panajachel, Guatemala
Robert Muller LIFE School is an international English immersion school in Panajachel, Guatemala. 50% of our students are of Mayan background and on scholarship or sponsorship. As an Earth Guardian Crew of students from Pre-K-6th grade we are focusing our energy on actions to save Lake Attilaln.
Lake Attitlan is considered the greatest natural resource and is regarded to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Currently, the lake is considered to be dying due to environmental problems which affect the health of the lake and ecosystems, quality of life and the population. Solid waste causes 53% of the lake contamination and other issues are untreated sewage, chemical agriculture and tilapia farms. Some years there are major occurences of cynobacteria bloom.
Recent actions the students of life have taken this year:
1. All students spent a whole day during environmental week picking up trash near the school, along the river and down to the lake. (The amount of trash was particularly bad due to Semana Santa celebrations). It's an overwhelming problem in the area.
2. Over the last weeks we prepared two sites (for upper and lower school gardens), had organic soil delivered, purchased tools and last Wednesday the students spent the whole day mixing the organic soil into the existing (which included some using pick axes!), designing and making signs and getting things ready to plant seeds and starts.
3. On Friday, April 21st, we invited 2 other local schools to join forces with us for a March for Science. Our students worked on chants and signs during the week and we marched through the streets of Panajachel (with a police escort) up to the municipal building where three of our 6th graders presented a petition (signed by all our students, staff and parents) regarding the condition of the sewage treatment plant adjacent to our school which dumps raw sewage into the river and ultimately the lake and often the stench makes its way to our school. They also made speeches to the crowd outside (in Spanish and English) regarding environmental issues affecting Lake Attitlan and Panajachel.
4. 2nd-6th graders took a trip to the recycle center and then the dump (via a dump truck, to learn about where much of what gets thrown away goes.