Humanitarian Outlook Engineering Report - Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, February 2007
What follows is an engineering and water report on the needs for several communities along the shore
of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. Recommendations are provided along with supporting data based on the
findings of the engineering team. The water engineering summary is preceded by overviews of the
project, the team and the team plan.
In 2006 a project was started by a small group of Rotary Club International members, headed by Mark
Campbell, for a humanitarian needs response in the Lake Atitlán region of Guatemala. The project of
this team of some twenty people is to evaluate the concerns of this region. We want to see what needs
to be done and what can be done to help resolve safety and quality of life concerns for the people there.
It is perhaps well known that the Central American country of Guatemala is one of the poorest
countries in the world and has had its share of war, civil war, natural disasters including earthquakes
and hurricanes along with poverty and the suppression of its main market for coffee sales. This has
caused infrastructural and economic damage which has left many fringe communities in the country
In this case the region was highly dependent on coffee bean farming for export and
the drop in world market coffee prices caused many farms ( fincas) to go out of business. Then in
2005 hurricane Stan caused major damage with flooding and mudslides resulting in great loss of life
and lasting damage to infrastructure that years later lingers still.
This causes great difficulty for the people there. Jobs were lost, homes were lost, public buildings and roads were damaged. The migration
of people to find better living conditions cause further stress to several already struggling areas.
In two cases, the communities of San Andres and Panabaj, the break down is so severe that villages of
hundreds of people have been moved to temporary pre-fab communities with only bare necessities
provided for them. They are in actuality refugee villages.
Eight villages and additional smaller sites were evaluated by the group to see if several specific basic
needs were being met. The group looked into water supply, cooking method, living conditions, waste
disposal, education and hygiene, along with whatever significant problems prevailed. The main
problems are poor living conditions, lack of water, inhalation of smoke, failing hygienic methods,
several cases of inadequate waste disposal and in most cases a failing educational system. In other
words, all the concerns that we went in with were realized.
The group had a wide range of experience, including medical, agricultural, engineering, financial,
family needs and of course basic human support.
Dan Matthews Meridian Design
Kurt Kuhlmann Meridian Design
Florence Cassassuce Niparajá
|| AquaStar UV Portable Water Purifier
UV light deactivation, reduces bacteria & viruses.
mÜV - [move] Micro-UV Water Purifier
Portable water treatment, magnetic lead recharging.
Rechargeable Kit, CR123A Replacement Battieries
AquaStar Charger, Replacement & Rechargable Batteries.
CR123A Replacement Battieries
Replacement batteries for the AquaStar, mÜV is rechargable and does not use replacement batteries.
Meridian Design Inc. has developed products in fields as diverse as fiberoptic transceiver modules, LED flashlights, kitchen composters, laboratory test equipment, shape memory muscle actuators, avionics, microscopy, medical centrifuges, model train electronics, and pulse detonation wave engine controllers.
Meridian Design believes in the Guiding Principles of Appropriate Technology, and strives to build products and solutions that follow these principles. Please Click or Call us today for more information.
The AquaStar UV Portable Water Purifier Reduces bacteria and viruses through UV light deactivation. More Information
Meridian Design Donates Aqua Star Water Purifiers for Tsunami Relief
Meridian Design Introduces The AquaStarPlus Portable UV-C Water Purification And Lantern Bottle
Meridian Design Introduces The AquaStar Portable Water Purification System
San Jose, California