The department of Sololá in the western highlands of Guatemala is home to beautiful Lake Atitlán, three rugged volcanoes that flank it, and colorful indigenous textiles that support a thriving tourism industry. Despite this, Sololá contains the country’s second highest level of poverty, which is manifested by the high number of people who leave the area in search of better livelihoods. At the IAF, we support community-led solutions that expand economic opportunity and provide productive alternatives to irregular migration. Our grantee partner, Asociación Vivamos Mejor (AVM), works in communities around Lake Atitlán to provide young adults with the skills they need to capitalize on the growing international interest in birding, become birding guides, and generate much-needed income for their households. Through training and environmental education, AVM is also raising awareness about the importance of environmental conservation and stewardship.
This grant is part of the IAF’s efforts to address the root causes of irregular migration in Central America.