08 Apr Sepalau
Hug It Forward’s second bottle school, much larger than the first, was built in the town of Sepalau, an area ravaged by a civil war in years past and which, as a result, lacked community infrastructure. The region also lacked a safe school in which kids could gain a secondary education.
In addition, the community faced a significant trash epidemic. As the population boomed, garbage built up in the streets creating an unhealthy environment. Peace Corps volunteer Chris Barry saw that a bottle school was the perfect solution to this problem: it simultaneously provided a safe place for kids to continue their education and increase their quality of life while reducing the mounds of trash that lined the streets.
As the deadline for the completion of the school approached, kids helped stuff the bottles with trash and created the walls while the men laid cement tirelessly through the night (even though they worked all day in the fields) to make sure the school was completed on time. Community leader Marcos Xe took charge of the construction process, making sure that community members all participated to achieve their shared goal. The school was finished on time and marked the first time the community had access to secondary education.
Location: Sepalau, Chisec, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
School number: 2
Birthday: April 8, 2010