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WINNER, SECOND PRIZE: Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan (Guatemala)

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The Second Prize (Euros 650) funded the Rescue of Fishermen's Small Boats in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala by Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan (26.7% of the vote).

Second PrizeThe Second Prize Winners, EcoHotel Uxlabil Atitlan, proposed to improve 30 old and unsafe cayucos, fishermen's small boats, to preserve a Lake Atitlan tradition and an income source.

Accepting the 2nd Prize, Manager Francisco Sandoval, stated: "Thanks to the confidence of members, at the end of August, cayucos the small fishermen boats of San Juan La Laguna, in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, will be safer and colourful. With this project we seek to rescue a tradition, increase the pride of its carriers. In August we will hold a two-day feast with local painters and fishermen restoring and painting 30 cayucos. With pictures and transparent bills we will document the process."

Project Implementation Report

Uxlabil completed the project in record time and provided ECOCLUB with photocopies of bills of purchases made.

Community hard at work repairing the cayucos

"The project was discussed and co-organised with the fishermen association 'Reed Guardians' or 'Chajil Chupup' in Maya Tzutuhil. They, a poor and deprived sector of the community, had never received a stimulus from any sector. The Manager of Uxlabil advised that if the project was going to be voted by ECOCLUB Members it should be the project of the community, not a 'hotel project'. The idea was discussed in a general assembly and approved by unanimity.

The concrete activities of repairing and painting cayucos were carried out during a weekend August 19 - 20, in the fields of Eco hotel Uxlabil Atitlán. Three days earlier, 21 cayucos had been brought to this place to dry, out of water. The initial step consisted of repairing old and used Cayucos, taping holes and destroyed pieces of wood. Some of the boats were as old as 30 years, made out of one piece of wood. Then came the application of a special oil and chemical fiver.

Farewell Picture: cayucos ready to sail!

In a solidarity effort, inspired by Eco hotel Uxlabil, painters from the community joined the effort and put their master hands painting each of the Cayucos. Each fishermen decided the colour of his cayuco. Some liked the Brazilian flag, green and yellow, others Guatemalan blue sky colour, other reed green. One asked that he wanted his cayuco to appear like a serpent.

When darkness was total, at 8.00 pm activities were suspended. Next day, at 2.00 p.m. activities were finalized. A touching moment of becoming together was asked by the fishermen. But their smile and satisfaction spoke by itself. A wood-carved crab was offered as a gift to the Uxlabil Manager. Some minutes later the now colourful cayucos returned to its habitat, Lake Atitlán. A farewell picture took place.

The restored & freshly-painted cayucos

The physical activity is complete but the project is not going to be considered finalised until a joint reflection takes place on Saturday September 2nd. In such occasion each one of the participants will answer two questions already presented to them: What did I learn? What else can we do?

Since Hotel Uxlabil was clear and transparent in saying that resources came from ECOCLUB headquarters in Greece, fishermen asked me to convey their gratitude to you, something to which I adhere."

Francisco Sandoval
Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan


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