Private Nature Reserve

In 2001, Los Andes was declared a private nature reserve, and is a founding member of Guatemala’s Association of Private Nature Reserves. The unique biodiversity of the Reserve, including wildlife, has tremendous potential for ecotourism and local residents are being trained as guides to provide them with an alternate source of income.

Sixty percent of the reserve is original forest, most of it along the slopes of the dormant volcano of Atitlán. Reforestation of all cleared land not under cultivation has been completed and will be managed as a sustainable forest for firewood on the farm to relieve stress on original forest.

To help secure the long term vision of the Reserve, in 2003 Los Andes was selected by The Nature Conservancy as one of its pilot projects in the Atitlán area to develop a sustainable ecological management program that will guide the family’s conservation efforts well into the future.


  Los Andes is a Private Nature Reserve officially registered with CONAP (National Comission of Protected Areas). Sixty percent of the estate is a natural cloud forest, habitat to important birds in danger of extinction, such as the Resplendant Quetzal, and the Tangara Cabanisis.

Present programs for conservation include artificial nests for the Quetzales. Hunting has been prohibited.

We have a reforestation program approved by INAB (The National ForestryInstitue), as well as eucaliptus forests planted for fire-wood. Coffee and quinine prunings also supply lumber and firewood. Financial and technical assistance is provided to buy and install efficient wood burning stoves in the worker’s houses. As of June 2005, 26 stoves have been installed.

Los Andes has its own hydroelectric plant, that generates all the power used on the estate. We have also implemented a system for the separation and appropriate disposal of all the garbage from the houses on the estate.

Energy efficient stoves are being introduced, as well as composting facilities at each home for organic waste.