News Blog

You can keep up with the latest project developments from the people on the ground making them happen via the BWB Blog. We want to hear from you and welcome your comments.
Guatemalan school keeps on building!  
PROJECTS BLOG 08/10/2011

Chilasco’s “Bottle School” Keeps on Building Thanks to BWB!!


In 2010, BWB made a generous donation to Hug It Forward’s “bottle school” project in Chilasco, a small village in Alta Verapaz, one of the poorest states in Guatemala.

Thanks to your support, we were able to complete the two-classroom elementary school ahead of schedule. Over the years to come, hundreds of kids will now have a modern, comfortable, durable school where they can learn, and create change in their lives.

Bottle schools are schools built using soda bottles and other “waste” plastic. Entire communities come together to build bottle schools, empowering themselves to create change in their lives. Community leaders manage the project, mothers and father donate their labor to build the school, and children are involved at all stages. They collect the bottles and stuff them full of trash to make eco-bricks, which are stacked on top of each other, sandwiched in between a ferro-cement shell, to form the school’s walls. In this way, THEY build THEIR school.

The school BWB funded in 2010 was the 3rd bottle school in Guatemala. Since then we have gone from strength to strength and in August 2011 completed the 12th bottle school.

Hug It Forward is now looking to spread the bottle school technology across the world, and have established a relationship with Peace Corps Guyana to start work this Fall on the first bottle school outside Guatemala.

There is a need for thousands of schools across the world, and many of these places where schools are needed have a severe trash problem. Bottle schools allow both of these issues to be tackled at once, empowering youth and the community in the process.

Our vision is for anybody, anywhere in the world, to be able to build a bottle school, wherever there is a need.

We have created the Bottle School Manual, an online resource which details exactly how to build bottle schools, step by step. The web site is set up as a wiki, a collaborative community-driven project, and is constantly evolving to give better and more detailed descriptions and answers to common questions.

Rather than trying to manage hundreds of bottle school projects ourselves, we see our role as being that of facilitators, giving communities the tools they need to create their own change. As well as maintaining the wiki, we can provide advice, direct fund raising, and help with monitoring and systems. The wiki encompasses a social network, allowing volunteers on past bottle school projects to share their experience and knowledge with people interested in building a bottle school.

Hug It Forward operates a “100% non-profit” model, which means that every dollar donated goes towards building the next bottle school. A separate group of private donors funds the operating costs. This means that donor dollars get spent on the ground, where they are needed and intended. Together with the inherent efficiency of the eco-friendly technology, this means that bottle schools are extremely cost-effective to build.

Thank you BWB for believing in us. The confidence and encouragement you have given us to take this model forward far outweighs the cash value of your donation. We look forward to continuing the relationship to build more bottle schools across the world, and we hope that more Burners will join us!


Comments are closed.