The rural village of Tzibal, which means something like “place of the writings” in Q’eqchi’, is located 4 kilometers from Campur and is 100% Maya Q’eqchi’. The village was founded in 1900 and has about 385 residents. The Tzibal community subsists primarily on the production of coffee, cardamom, black pepper, bananas, mandarins and oranges. The locals live their daily lives without many things that much of the world calls “basic necessities” such as electricity, running water, or paved roads. What the community lacks in resources however, it makes up for in spirit and enthusiasm.The bottle school replaced a worn-down wooden building that was nearly 85 years old and too small to accommodate the increasing number of students. The new bottle school would nearly double the school’s capacity and provide a “healthy” learning space as outlined by the Ministry of Education and Peace Corps Guatemala’s “Healthy Schools” initiative. The community feels great pride in their new three-room elementary school and expects the enrollment to increase by one-third over the next five years. Hug It Forward’s bottle school has been a dream come true for the people of Tzibal.
As a result of the successful bottle school construction, Tzibal was able to certify their Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta as a “Healthy School” on part of Peace Corps Guatemala and the Guatemalan Ministry of Education. This certification was a great honor for the school and the community at large, and has effectively put the Tzibal School on the map for receiving educational aid and continuing support. The inauguration of the Tzibal bottle school was in many ways an end, but also a beginning, and it has inspired the community to seek more improvements to their lives.
Location: Tzibal, Carchá, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
School number: 14
Birthday: October 7th, 2011