A Brief History of the Community
San Juan La Laguna is a municipality located on the western shore of Lake Atitlán, a picturesque lake surrounded by volcanoes. It has a population of about 10,000 people, 95% of whom identify as Mayan - Tz'utujil. Agricultural production, especially of coffee, is a primary source of income for the area. The community also has a growing tourism sector and distinguishes itself from other surrounding municipalities on the lake based on its development of community-based tourism.
Xperitas partners with the nonprofit Centro Maya Servicio Integral on their project Alma de Colores. Alma de Colores is a labor and social inclusion workshop for people with disabilities in Lake Atitlán. The workshop provides training to enhance members’ employable skills in sewing, handicrafts, gardening, and restaurant/bakery management. Xperitas teams will stay with families in San Juan La Laguna and collaborate with Alma de Colores and their members on a project of their choosing, which may include renovations to Alma de Colores’ new restaurant space, construction of wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, and planting seeds in the garden.