Location – San Marcos La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
The Project – Konojel, which means ‘All together’ in Kaqchikel, the Mayan dialect spoken in the lakeside town of San Marcos La Laguna, was established to address the chronic malnutrition in the community. Every day 60 of those considered most at risk are fed a hearty vegetarian lunch at the community centre.
Our support -in 2016 Konojel decided to open a cafe, the Konojel Comedor, to cater for tourists visiting the popular lakeside town of San Marcos La Laguna. The cafe was run by members of the Sabor del Sol Women’s Cooperative, providing them with employment, business acumen and a steady source of income for their families and profits going towards funding Konojel’s daily lunch program. The LATA Foundation purchased kitchen equipment and furniture and also funded the packaging for dried seeds, cookies and other goodies that the women produced using their solar oven and solar dehydrator to sell to tourists. In 2017 we contributed towards a new bathroom at the restaurant and covered the running costs while they trialed an evening service at the Konojel Comedor on top of their regular lunch time service to test its economic sustainability. The extra shifts proved profitable so were introduced permanently and we are delighted to hear that the Comedor has moved to a bigger, permanent site and is self-sustaining. In addition we funded English lessons in the community to enable them to communicate more effectively with visitors and give them enhanced employment opportunities.
If you are visiting Lake Atitlan please consider a visiting the Konojel Comedor in San Marcos La Laguna.
Further Information – We were introduced to the work of the Konojel Community Centre by Philippa Vernon-Powell from New life Line who we have worked in partnership with on a number of projects throughout Mexico and Guatemala. Philippa is optimistic that the Konojel Comedor and Sabor del Sol cooperative will become sustainable over the next year. As well as the daily lunch program Konojel run children’s enrichment programs, scholarships and adult vocational training and sustainability projects – the women’s cooperative, Sabor del Sol restaurant and shop and community gardens.