Thursday, February 13, 2020

Pollution in Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is often touted as The Most Beautiful Lake in the World. But it won't be that way forever if something isn't done about all the raw sewage, garbage, and pollution going into its beautiful waters every day.

Drone photo of the river delta in Panajachel emptying silt and sewage into Lake Atitlan.


I filmed that video just a few days ago. I like to walk the dogs down this gravel road to the lake cuz it's peaceful -- albeit stinky! Sometimes there are big gobs of dirty foam in the water that comes out from the sewage plant.

The amount of untreated sewage water (aguas residuales no tratadas) being dumped into Lake Atitlan every year.
The governmental organization here that is assigned to take care of Lake Atitlan is called AMSCLAE -- La Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca del Lago de Atitlán y su Entorno. In English, this is The Authority for Sustainable Management of the Lake Atitlan Basin and its Environment. They have a lot of great info on their site, but in Spanish of course! They do studies, offer educational programs, and spread awareness. Not everyone agrees with their methods and proposals, but it is good to have a central official governmental body.

For some heavy reading, here is an extensive article about wastewater treatment at Lake Atitlan in English:
https://collections.unu.edu/eserv/UNU:6451/WorkingPaper_No6.pdf

Almost every day on my Facebook feed, I see photos, links, complaints, and posters about Lake Atitlan's dirty water, garbage, and pollution. Locals and expats alike are very concerned and working as best they can to find a solution. Education and awareness are key. But I think the limiting factor here is money, unfortunately. I can only hope that something gets done before it's too late. 😔

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Are We Animal Actor Agents Now?

Two more of our dogs were in a commercial for Ruff on the Road dog apparel. Chunk, the chubby black puppy, and Snoopy, the medium blonde dog, stole the show in this video about doggie bandanas.


Bert jokes that it's great to have dogs that pay for their own vet bills. The money the doggies made for their participation went directly to Chunk's vaccination series. Good job, boys!

Shop Ruff on the Road collars, leashes, beds, bags, and bandanas HERE⇒ https://www.ruffontheroad.com/ 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Sugar High On a Friday Night

My life is so thrilling. My Friday night is staying home playing video games and overdosing on sugar!! 
Amongst the junk food I bought at La Torre grocery store today, on a whim I bought this ginormous bottle of POP. Can you guess what the flavor is? Soda Shampan...champagne! Champagne cola is kind of a unique flavor in the Carribean and Latin America. It tastes sort of like cream soda. This one is not bad but a little weak. I realized belatedly that it has aspartame which gives it a yucky aftertaste. Oh well.
That's a lotta pop.
Another strange find in the store today, Fruit of the Forest Oreos. I can't really say they taste like much at all. I mostly taste the chocolate cookie part but I guess the purple filling tastes like...tangy sugar. Not raspberry or blackberry or anything.
Fruit of the Forest Oreos
Just in case you need more sugar for breakfast, Guatemala is obsessed with horrible sugary cereals. It was fun at first, but it's getting kind of tiresome now. I mean do you really need marshmallows in your chocolate rice krispies? I would love to have some nice lightly sweetened LIFE cereal or some brown sugar Mini-Wheats.
Chocolate Rice Krispies with Marshmallows
Poor Bert is subsisting on Cream of Wheat, yogurt, bananas, and pudding. He's getting his teeth fixed, which basically means he's getting most of them pulled out. He's had four done already. After they're all done being pulled, he will get fitted for partial dentures. Ack, that sounds like such an old man thing, doesn't it? Ha ha!
For reference, getting a tooth pulled (extraction) costs Q150 each. That's roughly $26 Canadian or $20 U.S. dollars. Pretty cheap!
Heart of Wheat -- the closest to Cream of Wheat we've found here.
Look at that face! 😍
Bert is being comforted in his dental pain by a new puppy. Yes, we know. Not another dog! Well, he wasn't supposed to stay but he's just so darn cute! His name is Chunk! He's about three-and-a-half months old and he already weighs almost 20 pounds. He is a big boy. His coat is super shiny and black with brown undertones. He is very handsome and laid back and adorable.

So life is pretty normal. Nice and warm here, a bit cloudy in the evenings but no rain.
It's pretty quiet in town because we're in that peaceful time between Christmas and Easter. A few months of calm and then tourists will come pouring back in.

I hope you're all well and enjoying life wherever you are. Peace out from Guatemala!