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  • One day about 3 years ago I received a huge envelop, inside was a manual from Pura Vida Atitlan, a basically One - Woman - Enterprise to clean up Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, many say this is the most beautiful lake in the whole wide world. The manual was so lovingly and esthetically beautifully wrapped - with lace and glimmer and dried flower petals - that it impressed me deeply. The woman who sent this to me wrote, she was also German and lived since 15 years in San Marcos at the shores of Lake Atitlan. She worked day and night to recycle trash in the communities, she even brought divers from Guatemala City to clean the trash out of the depth of the lake. She asked me to give her permission to use some of my paintings for her work. I did.

    A few months later I met Susanna here in San Cristóbal. She invited me to her hotel room, where she had made the most beautiful display of tiny necklaces, all draped around herbs and seeds and again: flower petals. The whole arrangement was a piece of art and she had just done it to have me choose one necklace for myself.

    I fell in love with this woman.

    She lives in a tiny house and just owns three pots, a table, a chair, a little cooker and a futon, on which she sleeps on the rooftop. She says that whenever she buys new pots, somebody breaks into her house and steals them, this happened 6 times just during last year. Now, she says she just keeps the old pots, nobody steals those. " In the morning I first heat up water in the biggest pot," she just told me," with that I wash myself. then I boil my tea in there, I do not have a shower."

    She invented the "Eco - Brick": a plastic bottle filled with other plastic trash. 6000 bottles become the centers of the walls for a house. Her method is picked up now in many other countries. She has taught in many communities how to recycle trash and now she fights against junk food and Coca Cola. She reintroduces ancient Mayan nutrition like Amaranth and the San Ramon - Nut. She does that inventing rap music, which the children pick up in a moment.

    About once a year Susanna visits me and we play together, we laugh, we discuss things, we discover beauty together. We nourish each other´s souls.

    Last November CNN did a documentary about Susanna´s work and you might want to watch this. It just completely opens my heart: Susanna´s Incredible Footprint

    I also hope you reread her story The Banana - Dream - Tree

    If you are interested in the work of Pura Vida Atitlan: Pura Vida Atitlan



    And if you understand Spanish you might enjoy her latest rap in favor of healthy nutrition:


    NATIVO NUTRITIVO!

    1.Escuchalo mi gente

    Hay que ser conciente¡

    Los niños están llamando

    Y yo te estoy cantando:

    Tierra Maya ¡Tierra Maya ¡

    AkeslemalAkeslemal Ya!

    Vida Pura! Vida Pura!

    Deja comer chatarra y basura!

    Pura Vida ¡ Pura Vida ¡

    E L I G E T U C O M I D A ¡

    2.La vitamina es divina

    Y jamas te contamina ¡ Limon y Mandarina!

    Un banano es mas sano

    Y lo compras de tu paisano, hermano ¡

    Tierra Maya , tierra Maya!

    AkeslemalAkeslemal ya

    Vida Pura! Vida Pura!

    Deja comer chatarra y basura!

    Pura Vida ¡ Pura Vida ¡

    E L I G E T U C O M I D A ¡

    3.Este mi pueblo utz tinamit: San Marcos la Laguna!

    Donde el sol abraza la luna.

    Aquí se come no solo el elote.

    Aquí es mera tierra de Jocote! Utzman!

    Tierra Maya , tierra Maya!

    AkeslemalAkeslemal ya

    Vida Pura! Vida Pura!

    Deja comer chatarra y basura!

    Pura Vida ¡ Pura Vida ¡

    E L I G E T U C O M I D A ¡

    4.Vaya la Papaya, viene la Pitaya!

    La Pitaya¡ oh tan deliciosa y jugosa y hermosa!

    La Pitaya! Vaya la Pitaya¡ Viene la Chaya!

    La Chaya, La Chaya ,La Chaya es muy Maya!

    Tierra Maya , tierra Maya!

    AkeslemalAkeslemal ya

    Vida Pura! Vida Pura!

    Deja comer chatarra y basura!

    Pura Vida ¡ Pura Vida ¡

    E L I G E T U C O M I D A ¡

    Este año , 2013 , vamos a sembrar esperanza verde

    Acción intensiva colectiva – comida nutritiva, curativa y nativa!










    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Photography by Kiki ( Susanna with our Japanese friend Miho)

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