Saturday, November 1, 2008

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* Health and Environment:
* Education:
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* Expansion and Connection:
* Natural disaster relief for children:
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Alternative Trash Management
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

The gods, Heart of the Sky and Heart of the Earth, created the world. The waters parted and a land of mountains, valleys and streams appeared. When the fruit of their labors was revealed in all its glory, and the gods saw the beauty of the earth and its creatures, they decided that it needed guardians.

Sacred book of the Quiché Maya, discovered in Santo Tomás Chuilá, now known as Chichicastenango, at the beginning of the 18th century. ~ Popol-Vuh

Trash collection day

The majority of villages in Guatemala have no trash dumps or system to collect and contain their trash. Trash is dumped on the ground, in lakes and in rivers. Vital drinking water is being contaminated. Children are playing in garbage; and disease is being spread.

Pura Vida teaches villagers to compact clean, dry plastic trash into used plastic bottles, thereby converting waste into easily-storable and transportable “plastic bricks” for construction.


To promote environmental consciousness among the indigenous villages of Guatemala, in order to curb the contamination of air, soil and water, promote healthier living conditions, and preserve the beauty of the land.

Constructing with Trash

Health and Environment

Teach the relationship between trash and disease in the household.
Teach garbage separation and management solutions: compacting, recycling, and reusing through trash construction.
Work with every family individually through local indigenous health care and environmental promoters.


Educate school children (ages 4-18) about environmental issues and trash through experiential learning, including: campaigns, practical workshops, educational theatre, excursions, and competitions.
Work with the local schools to provide a clean learning environment


Create local structures for recycling and reusing trash.
Construct with trash.
Create products using recycled material.

Expansion and Connection

Implement the Pura Vida experience in other Maya communities of Lago Atitlán.
Develop educational and promotiona materials,including videos, radio and television spots, theatre and school curriculum.
Train local representatives to introduce this project to other communities.
Connect communities, schools, businesses, local government and NGOs.

Natural disaster relief for children

Create a adaptable post-trauma therapy program for children to help them cope with the effects of a natural disaster and reconnect with their local environment through recycling
panabaj pura vida house

...The majority of villages in Guatemala have no trash dumps or system to contain their trash....

About Pura Vida:

Pura Vida started with pilot project in January 2005 in the village of San Marcos la Laguna in order to solve the community’s trash problem. After two years of experience the Pura Vida pilot project is emerging as an ecological movement around Lake Atitlán.

Pura Vida believes that as part of nature, human beings are responsible for the waste we produce. Communities must share this responsibility with environmental organizations, corporations, local political authorities, teachers, parents and children. Pura Vida is building with trash while building the environmental consciousness of communities.

Web Design by Atitlan Resource

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