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Konojel Community Centre

Location – San Marcos La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

The Project – Konojel, which means ‘All together’ in Kaqchikel, the Mayan dialect spoken in the lakeside town of San Marcos La Laguna, was established to address the chronic malnutrition in the community. Every day 60 of those considered most at risk are fed a hearty vegetarian lunch at the community centre.

Our support – in 2016 The LATA Foundation purchased kitchen equipment and furniture needed by the Konojel Comedor (tourist café) which was opened to help fund Konojel’s daily lunch program. We also funded the packaging for the dried seeds, cookies and other goodies that the Sabor del Sol women’s cooperative produce using their solar oven and solar dehydrator and then sell to tourists.

In 2017 we are building a bathroom at the restaurant and covering the running costs while they trial evening service in the Konojel Comedor on top of their regular lunch time service. Money that is made by selling papusas, pizzas and the local dish-of-the-day to tourists goes back into the daily lunch program and also provides the women’s cooperative with employment, business acumen and a steady source of income for them and their families. We are also funding English lessons in the community to enable them to communicate more effectively with visitors and give them enhanced employment opportunities.

How can you help? – Donate just £12 to allow the project to serve 10 nutritious lunches every day.  Donate here If you are visiting Lake Atitlan you could consider supporting Konojel by eating at the Konojel Comedor in San Marcos.

Further Information – We were introduced to the work of the Konojel Community Centre by Philippa Vernon-Powell from New life Line who we have worked in partnership with on a number of projects throughout Mexico and Guatemala. Philippa is optimistic that the Konojel Comedor and Sabor del Sol cooperative will become sustainable over the next year. As well as the daily lunch program Konojel run children’s enrichment programs, scholarships and adult vocational training and sustainability projects – the women’s cooperative, Sabor del Sol restaurant and shop and community gardens.