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2011 Sabbatical Focus

A note from Theo Ferguson, Vital Systems:

I have recently returned from a four-month sabbatical to investigate what behaviors from the perspective of “people who live with life" can effectively influence the perspective of "people who take." The first phase of my sabbatical included a Spanish immersion at Casa Rosario in San Pedro La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, formed from a volcanic eruption 1.5 million years ago.

For those of you who have served in the Peace Corps or know and love the vibrant colors of Maya and the wonderful Mayan people in Guatemala, it is no surprise that my deep exposure and experiences in this region has moved me to action. Garbage and raw sewage flow into Lake Atitlan. Although the Lake remains a critical source of water, it is currently layered with toxic sediment.

Vital Systems and Casa Rosario have initiated a joint venture relationship to facilitate the healing of Lake Atitlan. Our goal is to help draw out sustainable healing behaviors from the people of San Pedro La Laguna and enable local 10-12 year old youth to communicate these sustainable healing behaviors to members of their Pueblo, San Pedro La Laguna. They will inspire action that will clean up the garbage, design municipal waste processing systems, develop recycling practices, and form refabrication businesses.

These young people are the future leaders who will inspire their community to systemically heal themselves, the people AND the Lake and will create the model that can be replicated in other Pueblos and towns around Lake Atitlan, simultaneously celebrating and showcasing the underlying philosophy of their Mayan culture.

We need your help and would like to draw on your experiences and connections! Please support us in this effort by sharing your observations and expertise by filling out the form below and contact Rosalie.Imler [at] vitalsystemsca [dot] com. We know we need help from people who have:

  1. Any engagement with San Pedro La Laguna or recommendations for prospective champions or community leaders who have influence in the City of San Pedro
  2. Experience with and connections to the region through Peace Corps or other organizations as volunteers, interns, regional managers, or NGO project associate
  3. Experience in developing waste reprocessing systems, recycling programs, or refabrication businesses in Latin America
  4. The capacity to help us grow Healing Lake Atitlan into a transferable case study for the rights of the lake and the surrounding communities in alliance with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.
  5. A background in ecological and/or social psychology curriculum development with experience in working with Lake Atitlan’s Regional Schools or schools of this age group
  6. Theatrical experience (especially if you are a local to San Pedro La Laguna) that includes scripting, set design, or working with 10-12 year old “lead actors” in rural communities to help produce a theater piece. The idea is to celebrate the success of the project 20 years hence while recounting how the program evolved and showcasing components of their sustainable culture.