A Field Report from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

By William Olkowski


I have been here two months now but felt my experiences here are worth recording as it’s a most unique place with a unique mix of people, organisms, and environments.


Lake Atitlan is a fresh water basin formed by eruptions 11 million years earlier, or so Wikipedia says.  It’s now surrounded by three volcanoes, one of which still rumbles at various times that I have perceived.  The Lake is 8 x 16 miles across and over 300 meters deep, feeds two rivers, but has waterfalls, rivers and creeks pouring in during the rainy season, late May to October. We witnessed an unusual rain storm in early April which was most impressive in the volume per minute for a few hours on two different days.  Apparently that sort of rain fall occurs regularly for months during the rainy season.  April is when the holiday ends for tourists.  Hangers on says heavy mold grows during this time, so much so that it’s difficult to breathe, but those are probably a minority.  After the rain the air feels clean here at lake side. Continue Reading →