Lake Atitlán in Guatemala is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. A Nahuatl word, Atitlán translates to “the place where the rainbow gets its colors.” Natural places with breathtaking beauty and power have sacred meaning to the Maya, and this volcanic lake is no exception. Two distinct Maya nations –the Kaqchikel and the Tz’utujil– live in a dozen coastal villages. There is an archaeological site adjacent to the lake called Chuitinamit, also known as Chiyá, which served as the capital of Tz’utujil people for about 150 years, beginning in 1400 CE. Three large volcanoes, the still active Atitlán and Tolimán, and the extinct San Pedro, frame the vast expanse of the bluest of waters. The rich soil of the surrounding basin and hillsides supports the agriculture of beans, onions, tomatoes, squash, garlic, strawberries, avocados, chiles, cucumbers, coffee beans, and the unique pitaya. Villagers have traditionally traded their goods at the market in the nearby Kaqchikel town of Sololá. Lake Atitlán has become one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations. However, this was not always the case. In 1958, to attract more tourists through recreational fishing, the non-native black bass fish was introduced in the lake. This started a chain reaction of devastating consequences. The non-native species has caused the extinction of local fish and birds; and the much increased pollution from the tourist industry has contributed to the endangerment of this unique natural and cultural treasure.