TUIK RUCH LEW / HELPING THE EARTH is a registered Guatemalan non-profit created to implement sustainable solutions to environmental hazards threatening the health and economy of the Tzutujil Maya living in the Lake Atitlan drainage basin.
As an environmental organization, our work installing and maintaining ONIL energy-efficient cook stoves (which use one third of the firewood of an open fire) preserves forests on the mountains surrounding our lake and eliminates indoor and reduces outdoor air pollution. The more than 2,000 stoves we have installed to date will save some 360,000 trees and sequester 26,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the 15 year life-span of our well-maintained stoves. Our goal is to install 5,000 more stoves over the next fifteen years.
What this means for a Mayan family: no more open fires for children to fall into; the elimination of toxic smoke in the cooking area and the respiratory and ocular problems which it causes; plus great savings in firewood expense or time gathering wood. The Tz'utujil Maya families we serve now breathe clean air, have increased financial resources and drink clean water. We help protect our beautiful Lake Atitlan by reducing the particulates from wood smoke falling into the lake and feeding the plants which causing eutrophication and creating hypoxic conditions in the lake.
Why we focus on Forest Conservation
Confronting fecal matter pollution
Tuik Ruch Lew / Helping the Earth is seeking funding for a pilot project to address the problem of fecal matter polluting Lake Atitlán. Collaborating with the Cuban NGO, Centro Cristiano Lavastida, we aim to transfer bio-gas digester technology connected with toilets, which has been a success in Cuba. In the meantime, we distribute British Berkefeld Water Filters which allow people to drink the lake water, as well as remove the chlorine from treated water sources.