Students start local NGO dedicated to environmental sustainability and improving livelihoods
In 2007, a group of Ak’ Tenamit’s students began the organization Aprosarstun (Ap-row-sar-stoon) before even graduation from Ak’ Tenamit. They were inspired to do so after attending a meeting with several institutions who were discussing ways to improve conditions in the nearby Sarstun region.
Aprosarstn’s mission is to improve livelihoods in the 16 communities that make up the Sarstun watershed region while simultaneously preserving the environment. They work to prevent deforestation and reduce water contamination and overfishing. They are also improving the health and quality of life of women who spend hours cooking over open-air fire pits.
How do they do it?
- Replanting trees
- Installing wood-saving cook stoves to replace open-air fire pits
- Giving presentations in communities discussing the importance of conserving resources
- Giving presentations at Ak’ Tenamit’s school and encourage students to discuss the importance of conservation with their families and communities
Gender equality and family violence
Education is at the core of Ak’ Tenamit’s work to reduce violence against women and children and improve gender relations.
In 2010, Ak’ Tenamit’s efforts reached:
- 92% of the population in 3 villages nearby communities claim to have heard information about gender violence, women’s rights, and HIV
from Ak’ Tenamit
- 94% of students at Ak’ Tenamit’s school claim the same
- 48 workshops were given related to gender violence and women’s rights
- 1,343 men and 1,988 women (throughout Rio Dulce) participated in a workshop
Since 2001, Ak’ Tenamit actively worked with the village, Plan Grande Quehueche, to help it realize its goal of becoming a eco-tourism destination. Thanks to Ak’ Tenamit’s support and training, Plan Grande Quehueche is now a self-sufficient eco-tourism destination and has received national and international recognition for its tourism programs. In addition to the natural attractions the area offers, guests can experience local cultural by working alongside locals, attending Mayan ceremonies, listening to traditional stories and enjoying traditional dances and music.