Tuik Ruch Lew (TRL) is a grassroots Guatemalan non-profit with the mission to implement sustainable solutions to the environmental, health and well-being challenges that threaten the livelihood of the Maya and the other inhabitants that make up the population living in the Lake Atitlán basin. We envision a thriving Lake Atitlán basin free of air pollution, with forest biodiversity, clean water and empowered communities for a prosperous, sustainable and healthy life.


Tuik Ruch Lew operates two projects to improve the lives of Tz’utujil community members by reducing poverty, improving health outcomes, and protecting local ecosystems: (1) The Improved Cookstove (ICS) Project, which promotes the use of ONIL energy-efficient, clean-burning cookstoves, (2) The provision of British Berkefeld water filters to enable access to safe drinking water and minimize pollution from single-use plastics. All projects include an environmental education component, empowering beneficiaries to better understand the environmental challenges threatening Lake Atitlán and to lead local efforts to combat climate change. Tuik Ruch Lew’s mostly Maya staff maintains a commitment to the community’s indigenous culture. Tuik Ruch Lew works within the framework of an impoverished and semi-illiterate community. Successful partnership with local stakeholders enables Tuik Ruch Lew to help conserve the ecosystems surrounding the Lake.


Tuik Ruch Lew’s cookstove project has completed two rigorous external certifications: Validation and Verification under the new Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). Tuik Ruch Lew was chosen by VERRA, as one of sixteen projects globally, to pilot SD VISta — an international standard designed to assess and report the sustainable development benefits of project activities with benefits for people and the planet.

Certification enables TRL to claim the carbon dioxide emission reductions achieved through the stove project, thus participating in the voluntary carbon market and eventually securing a stable funding stream for the stoves.



Tuik Ruch Lew is seeking funding for a pilot project to bring sustainable, at-the-source sanitation to Santiago Atitlán in the form of biogas digesters connected to toilets. With the construction of a fixed dome biogas system, the project goals are to improve sanitation, reduce fecal matter contamination, and reduce poverty through biogas bi-products. These include gas that can be used for cooking (further reducing demand for wood fuel) and agricultural fertilizer. Our vision for the biogas digester model is to serve as a scalable, sustainable solution to confront the problem of fecal matter contamination in Lake Atitlán.


Tuik Ruch Lew is also seeking funds to expand the environmental education component of our projects. We envision a street-level, multimedia educational program on the ecological state of the lake for Tzutujil Maya-speaking communities, as well as an introduction to sustainable solutions to empower community members to be agents of environmental action.


Finally, as part of Tuik Ruch Lew’s commitment to the empowerment of women, we are seeking funds to equip and train Santiago Atitlan’s first women’s soccer team.  The Tz’utujil women’s team will break cultural stereotypes regarding women’s rights and abilities to play soccer, stimulate leadership development amongst the members, raise their level of confidence and self-esteem, as well as contribute to their mental and physical health. We aim to inspire these women to be environmental advocates.



[email protected]


+502 7933 – 3061

Canton Xechivoy, Santiago Atitlán, Sololá  Guatemala 07019

January 2023