In Chuicotom, the school is the most overcrowded in the district with some of the lowest retention rates and highest class repetition rates. There are many factors that contribute to this, but after talking with the community, the parent committee, superintendent and teachers, all independently said overcrowding was a major issue. Having visited the community various times with the municipality we were able to see this first hand and see the conditions of the school. The community had formally asked the municipality for additional classrooms and the municipality was already in discussion about the feasibility to do so.

Together, we have decided we want to build a bottle school. The end result will demonstrate to the municipality and surround communities the benefits of trash management, the power of working together and that the municipality is supporting these initiatives.

The school building in Chuicotom only has three actual constructed rooms. Another is a borrowed space that acts as the community meeting hall. This borrowed space is divided by a makeshift divider made with plastic and plywood. With 123 students in total and three actual rooms there is an average of 41 students per class room. On top of this startling statistic, there is no storage space for materials, extra desks and all school supplies that are used during the year. These are placed into the available remaining spaces within the classrooms adding to the space deficiency and overcrowding effect.

Location: Chuicotom, San Cristóbal Totonicapán, Totonicapán, Guatemala
Elementary School
Classrooms: 2