When the storm subsided and the rain finally let up, I looked out my window expecting to find chaos. Instead, men and women were lining the streets with shovels and brooms cracking away at what Agatha left. Within hours the muddied streets were lined with piles of garbage ready to be picked up. I thought the immense lake would be a different story, only to find people of all ages up to their waists in still turbulent water fishing out fallen trees, mounds of plastic, and trash.
I was really taken aback, and filled with a sense of patriotism for a country not even my own. No one was being compensated, or even commended for their day's work. People took it upon themselves, altruistically, to fix something that was not really theirs. It is refreshing to finally see what I only read about once in my environmental studies textbook-- people coming together to successfully prevent a tragedy of the commons.
Here are some pictures I took yesterday:
Mud piles that once covered the streets.
Two women lending a hand to help clean Lago Atitlan
The no longer "bather exclusive" public beach.
The bruised dock.
More on MPI-pertinent activities soon.