The community of Guacachipol is a very rural village where families face the struggle of daily life. Being one of the furthest located communities from the municipal center, there is still no electricity and no running water. Guacachipol is blessed to have a close-knit and dedicated sense of community that has been fighting to promote sustainable development and opportunities for the advancement of their community. One of these important needs is a proper school building where the current 37 students have space to study, grow, and acquire skills to prepare them for a successful future.

The community has selflessly given everything they can with what they have, but still cannot adequately provide for their children. Their previous schoolhouse was a “two room” space with one of the classrooms being a rented, unused bedroom in a community member’s house, with almost 40 students crammed into a hot, dark, crowded space.  The community paid monthly to use this space and all parents had to pay a fee towards the rent. The other room is a make shift area with a dirt floor and a corrugated tin roof supported by wooden posts. With no walls the air, dust, rain and elements easily disrupt classes on a daily basis and take away from valuable education time.

Guacachipol had previously solicited the local municipality in 2008 for a new school but has patiently waited with no results. However, this has not stopped them from trying to provide for their children. The new bottle school is a two classroom building that will also act as a community center where local councilmen can meet and discuss future plans, parents and teachers can decide on how to better the education of their children and to give the community local meeting hall.

The community began collecting and filling bottles since June of 2011 with help from other schools and community groups who wanted to support the cause. With this cooperation and support it is more than just a community effort but a municipal effort as well. Being so rural and without access to various resources, community members did anything and everything they could to get this project done. The community not only helped by filling bottles but they also provided the sand and rocks needed for construction. They also helped with the construction in any way possible. Guacachipol could not be more determined and prideful for the promise of giving their students an opportunity to succeed.

Location: Guacachipol, Malacatancito, Huhehuetenango, Guatemala
Elementary School
Classrooms: 2
School number: 22
Birthday: February 8, 2013