There is a lot of tourism in Atitlan, but very little offer of ecological or cultural tourism. The estimate for tourism in Atitlan is about 29,000 persons per year.
Atitlan lake is a very important nature reserve, however tourism is focused on night life, restaurants, and shopping. For this reason projects that highlight nature conservation and the value of native culture are very important for the preservation of this important ecosystem.
The 1995 Agreement (between the Guatemalan state and the rebel armies) on Identity and rights of the indigenous populations, recognizes the existence and the value of scientific knowledge of the Maya, and establishes as a government responsibility to promote the study, practice and diffusion of this knowledge.
Over the last years there has been a growing interest to know, recover and vindicate the Maya cultural heritage, as part of a process of social healing, to strengthen the national identity, helping to dissolve racism and discrimination, to inspire the study of sciences, promoting equal access to science and technology.
Starting from the UNESCO International year of Astronomy 2009, various organizations around the world promote the study of astronomy as a positive interaction between countries, promoting collaboration, respect for nature, the clear sky, etc.
The role of archaeo-astronomy and cultural astronomy has been recognized as a strong link between science and society, allowing a bilateral approach between science and ancient cultures around the world.
Sustainable Development Goals
The study of Maya ancient culture trough the traditional activities of contemporary Maya culture. The holistic educational experience in the observatory will contribute to the schools in the region.
To highlight the technical skills of Maya weavers, and the use of textiles to transmit the ancient culture iconography shows the importance of Maya woman in the preservation of culture, the economy, and identity.
The efforts to provide cultural tourism, astro-tourism, and ecological tourism in the region of Atitlan lake are very important to counterbalance the more contaminating forms of tourism.
Work, economic growth:
Increasing value to traditional products, and creating new products taking advantage of the value of culture helps the economy of the lake.
There is a marked discrimination in the access to science and technology among the Guatemalan population, with little participation of the indigenous population in technical careers. The study of Maya astronomy and mathematics is very important to show that this bias is a result of the economic, social and political burden imposed to the native population.
Maya communities even if very poor, are very important examples of sustainable communities, because ancient culture is entangled to the natural ecosystem. Our project helps to maintain this equilibrium of culture and use of the natural resources.
Life and nature:
The Cerro de Oro mountain best potential is to be a nature and culture reserve, our project will be useful to enhance these aspects.
Santiago Atitlan is one of the best examples of pre-Hispanic institutions surviving to this day, and the placement of the Solar Observatory is also a political action to form ties among institutions and private entities.
Guatemala´s society is a very divided population, our project promotes partnership between different sectors of this society by focusing in common goals and shared interests.
We look forward to make partnership with national and international institutions promoting these goals, and apply for grants, advice, expertise, technical support, certifications, etc.