Eco-Tourism Ends in Guatemala as Inguat Promotes Pollute-ourism
by Steve Mullaney
Announcing that it had finally found its niche, INGUAT, (Guatemalan Tourism Institute) announced that it is abandoning its “silly dream” of eco-tourism and is focusing instead on pollute-ourism, or tourism that is focused on bringing foreigners to gawk at breathtaking works of pollution and environmental destruction. The announcement is timed to coincide with a number of community based pollute-ourism strip mining projects in San Marcos and Quiche as well as the reemergence of cyanobacteria in Lake Atitlan.
“We had thought about trying to preserve the lake for future generations,” commented INGUAT spokesperson Alfredo Galicia in a recent press conference, “but when we realized that it would cost millions of dollars to fix the problem and about $500 to dump three tons of fertilizer in the center of the lake, it was an easy decision to make.” President Alvaro Colom, who founded the social program “Todos Juntos Por El Lago” has since re-christened the program “Todos Cagamos En El Lago” to take advantage of the positive pollute-ourism vibe that has swept the country.
Thus far, reaction from tourists has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only do tourists get to see such sights as heavy metals being dumped into drinking water supplies and mounds of plastic being burned outside maternity wards, but they can also participate in the action. Tourists are beside themselves with glee: “Back home, it is flat. There are no mountains much less peaceful mountain streams. To be able to come to Guatemala and see this is amazing. To come and dump used hypodermic needles in the stream itself has exceeded my expectations.”
Not only are foreigners invited to pollute with abandon, they are also being encouraged to take part in the killing of endangered species. In what is being praised as an innovative private/public partnership INGUAT is teaming up with McDonald’s to kill the few remaining quetzales left in the wild and cook up McQuetzal breakfast sandwiches. Visitors who kill a dozen quetzales will be entitled to a coupon for a free breakfast combo meal at participating locations. Tigo is mulling over a similar promotion aimed at carnival-goers that will let visitors throw old cell phones at monkeys tied to poles.
INGUAT is confident that the pollute-ourism campaign will succeed, and will be encouraging unlicensed truck drivers to transport toxic waste through one-lane highways at breakneck speeds in support of the program. Concluded spokesperson Galicia: “You can go anywhere and see beautiful scenes of nature, but where can you go to find environmental devastation and out of control pollution? Only in Guatemala.”