The Nature Conservancy - Parks in Peril
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Atitlán Volcanoes

Motagua-Polochic System

how you can help



Roughly the size of Tennessee, Guatemala is home to a range of habitats. From the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea in the east to the mangrove forests and black volcanic sand beaches where sea turtles breed in the west, the country is rich in biological as well as cultural diversity.

 Atitlan Coast

"Islands of evolution"--the volcanic mountain chain of Atitlán © Nicole Balloffet


did you know

The Motagua Valley Thorn Scrub, found in Motagua-Polochic System, is a very small ecoregion that hosts Central America's driest ecosystem.

Guatemala Partner Organizations

Between 1954 and 1989, the advance of the agricultural frontier in Guatemala was responsible for the clearing of half of the country’s forests. Despite such rapid environmental change, conservation has made significant inroads, with 22 percent of Guatemala now under protected status. Parks in Peril (PiP) collaborates with partners in two regions of the country: the Sierra Madre volcanoes in the western highlands and the east-central Motagua-Polochic System. With Guatemala-based partners, PiP achieves conservation objectives by providing incentives and sustainable economic activities for local people to protect and sustainably manage public and private lands. PiP is also working to improve leadership in conservation finance by strengthening an independent, non-governmental national environmental fund.


Atitlán VolcanoesPIP 2000 site

Atitlán is one of 37 active volcanic cones among the Sierra Madre Mountains. PiP is working with local communities and local organizations to establish a Municipal Parks System. Read more...

Motagua-Polochic System/Sierra de las Minas Biosphere ReservePIP 2000 site

Rising from the mountains of Sierra de las Minas, the Motagua-Polochic System protects important water sources of the arid Motagua and lush Polochic Valleys. Read more...