For Tourist Information about San Marcos and all the great activities, events, workshops and classes that are constantly on offer, please see our community website by Becky of Circles Cafe; Visit San Marcos.
The Yoga Forest aims to work more and more in the local community of San Marcos through its Forest Family Foundation through providing funding and collaboration with other local organisations around the Lake basin. We do or have worked with the following organisations in the local area:
Tul Planting - Let's Reforest Tul (reeds) on the shoreline of Lake Atitlán. Tul has been eradicated almost completely on this side of the lake. Tul cleans the Water and provides a Habitat for Fish, Frogs & Birds. Run by the local fisherman Organization, RUKUX CHUPUP/ Heart of Tul in order to promote lake health awareness and continue their efforts to plant tul around the shores of the Lake.
Birth Center - Birthing Project
San Marcos is about serving, honouring and empowering the traditional midwives of San Marcos La Laguna, a small village with 3800 inhabitants at the shore of Lake Atitlan, Department of Sololá. We want to create a safe, loving and nurturing shield for all pregnant, indigenous women. We want to strengthen the relationship between the traditional and biomedical model of care and support the midwives by providing them basic equipment and educational exchanges in Guatemala.
We encourage our Forest Community to help us support the Centro de Nutricion Konojel, which was established in 2011 in Barrio 1, San Marcos la Laguna. Functioning as a soup kitchen, every day more than 60 people of the local community, including seniors, pregnant women and lactating mothers are given a healthy nutritious vegetarian meal in an effort to help prevent malnutrition in the local community. We encourage our Forest Community Members to regularly help out the women in the kitchen preparing and serving these meals as a karma yoga practice.
For three years The Yoga Forest helped Konojel Project in setting up community gardens to grow their own food before handing the gardens back to local staff to manage. Our interns dedicated one morning a week to help implement and prepare the gardens ready for planting. Our coordinator Jeremy was also responsible for the Permaculture design of these gardens. Donations are greatly appreciated and help keep this community supported project alive. You can donate via their Facebook page.
Return to the Forest & Meiker Organisation
Return to the Forest is a partner of The Yoga Forest, running natural and renewable building workshops, and courses in applied sustainability. See here for information on courses, workshops and natural building internships.
Meiker is a sustainable building school and tool library located in San Marcos la Laguna. Training workers, renting out tools and workspaces, and helping students to find employment in sustainable construction. Mieker's mission is to create a thriving building school and Makerspace that connects people to the tools and training they need to make a living in sustainable building and appropriate technology.
The Yoga Forest is proud to support the work and commitment of Atitlan Organics, a sustainable organic farm in the Tzununá valley, whose focus is on leapfrogging the heavy centralized food systems of developed nations and moving into a new future comprised of many small, decentralized, but globally aware, local growers and local markets.
IMAP Instituto MesoAmericana de Permacultura
IMAP is a not-for-profit community organization focused on the development of self-sufficient communities through the responsible management of natural resources using a combination of Permaculture techniques and ancestral and traditional knowledge. IMAP was founded in 2000 and is based in San Lucas Toliman on Lake Atitlán.
JUSTA is a holistic network that connects indigenous artisans, global designers, and sustainable projects. JUSTAconnects local Guatemalan artisans with self-sustaining development, creative expression, and holistic empowerment within family and community. Their design project, Global Just Designs, connects conscious consumers with original, upcycled, neotribal designs that bridge indigenous tradition with contemporary sustainable style.
Kula Collective weaves together diverse holistic experiences and educational offerings from each of our members, drawn together as a whole through using a common thread that respects ancestral traditions, unites our passions, and inspires spiritual growth in ourselves and in others.
Fincas Buenas does a variety of wonderful things in the community of San Marcos la Laguna on the shore of Lake Atitlán. The biggest part of their project is making vertical gardens with recycled bottles. They are able to cultivate more food in less space, reuse trash instead of it ending up in the Lake or the street, and color the lives of families who might need a little bit. Beyond this, they build houses, sanitary toilers, give free seeds, work with troubled youth, offer scholarship / work-exchange programs for youth in the town, provide weekly snacks to the primary school, offer fair-wadges to those locals working in the project and have started a workers union to try to get fair wages for those in San Marcos! Very often, the team is also participating in local clean-ups such as a grey water mini-project going on now to get the lake clean! Jay even swam from San Marcos to San Pedro before to raise money! You can help this project make differences in the lives of local people by donating here.
San Marcos Holistic Cottage
Whilst San Marcos is a small village it is a delightful place, with small winding paths, which weave through the coffee trees and jocotes. It has become is a haven for healers, artists and musicians from all over the world and its fame is also spreading as Central America's premier "New Age" village, attracting many people wishing to investigate the healing modalities offered here. Full body massage, Indian Head massage, Creative Energy Work, Reiki, Kinesiology and Reflexology are all offered at the Holistic Cottage. Courses in these therapies are also available. If you have the desire to learn Holistic Therapies, San Marcos is the village for you. Be sure to leave time in your trip to take a course or two as San Marcos is a unique place which many are drawn to stay for lengthy amounts of time.