Because of the great need to have two classrooms, two years ago the community of El Retiro approached the then mayor of the municipality of San Martin Jilotepeque. Unfortunately there was no support for building the classrooms. When the community followed up on the request with the new mayor, he told them about the possibility of building bottle classrooms with the support of Hug it Forward.The classrooms currently is use are already very deteriorated, as they were built 14 years ago and have not been well maintained. Teachers along with parents have made some efforts to enlist the support of the previous mayor to at least change the roof of these classrooms, but it was has not possible. Due to the growth of the student population, now there is not only a need to change the roof of these classrooms, but to build more classrooms.
Currently children in kindergarten make use of a shed where food is stored for school snacks, since there is no other space for them to study. There are currently 10 kindergarten students, 94 elementary students and 3 teachers, using just these two classrooms and the shed.
The project will be sustainable because the community including parents, community leaders, teachers, and students have been in charge of collecting the 6,500 trash-filled plastic bottles to build the bottle school, and parents of school children will bring the necessary wood and unskilled labor as required by the masons in charge of the project.
The mayor has also provided provide the skilled labor, and the Ministry of Education has agreed to hire two new teachers.
Location: El Retiro, San Martin Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Construction Started: January 2013