The small pueblo of San Juan la Laguna (Solola, Guatemala) sits on the edge of Lake Atitlan - one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Unlike most villages on the lake, San Juan plays host to few tourists other than for day-visits, and is home to an exemplary self-started push to improve the village.

"Chajil Ch'upup" (Guardians of the Tule) explores the world of Juan, an Tz'utujil Mayan whose family has fished Lake Atitlan for generations. His generation especially, however, has been subject to major trials created by nature, and also by man. The members of the local fishing cooperative - Chajil Ch'upup - have banded together to work towards a solution and a better life.

This video was produced on location by an Actuality Media student crew and shot primarily with a Canon XA10.

Producer: Alice Cushman
Director: Jennifer Robbins
Cinematographer: Daniel Zawodny
Editor: Ruhui Zhao

Special Thanks to the Consulate-General of Guatemala in Providence and to our friend Walter Hernandez for assistance with our crew members' arrival in Guatemala.

Actuality Media is on the ground with every student crew to oversee production of these short documentaries, providing the services of executive producer, production manager, location scout, additional editing, and whatever else is needed to complete the project.
We are more than a film study abroad program. Actuality Media is a service learning organization that takes students and young professionals abroad to create media on changemakers in developing communities around the world. Our films spread the word about nonprofits, NGOs and social entrepreneurs who are implementing innovative, new ideas to combat chronic social problems. Find out more about our work and adventures at


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