After three months of a nationwide lockdown in Guatemala, COVID-19 cases are rising quickly and the economic impacts of the shutdown are growing at an alarming rate. Santa Cruz, whose primary industry is tourism, is being hit particularly hard. In response, Amigos has turned to programs that create jobs, putting people to work on socially-distanced projects that benefit the local community.
These local fishermen all lost their ability to earn a living by traveling to other towns to sell fish due to COVID travel restrictions. Amigos’ Economic Reactivation Program is now employing them to plant
tul, a water-based grass-like plant that helps to filter harmful pollutants and protect the ecosystem of the lake. They are earning an income to support their families while helping improve the health of Lake Atitlán.