The Guatemala Bottle School Project
Over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2016, 20 young adults and families impacted by addiction, along with other supporters, traveled to one of the most impoverished areas in South America, San Martin, Guatemala. Roads filled with trash and barefoot children with no nearby schools to attend is what greeted the group upon arrival. They were ready to achieve two critically important goals: Change the lives of poor children living in destitute conditions forever while finding a way to replace their hunger for drugs by using the substance already inside their bodies, dopamine, to get the “high” they seek, naturally through the fulfillment of impacting others.
The Guatemala Bottle School Project, founded and created by the nonprofit organization Hug It Forward, builds schools for the poorest children of Guatemala. The innovative schools are built with “eco-bricks” created through recycled plastic bottles. “Hope is the New Dope” is the opportunity for recovering addicts to give back to children in dire need, and experience the “natural high” of selfless volunteerism. The schools are dedicated in memory of those who have lost their lives because of a heroin overdose. It is a collaborative effort between the WorldVentures Foundation, “Hope is the New Dope Tour” with the Power of Peace Initiative, Hopedealers Worldwide, and Hug It Forward.
What is a bottle school?
Bottle schools are schools built using plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash. Bottle schools are built using tried and tested post and beam construction. The foundations, columns, and beams are made from concrete reinforced with rebar. The difference with traditional construction is that instead of cinder-blocks, the walls are made using “eco-bricks”. Bottle schools are much cheaper to build than traditional schools, they clean up the environment, teach lessons about environmental sustainability, and involve the entire community in their construction, resulting in a sense of pride and ownership.
The participants are offered a reduced trip fee and extra support of a “trip host” through DreamTrips Travel Club and WorldVentures Foundation. Please see the Informational Packet and commitment form below to participate in the next Bottle School Project:
*Hope is the New Dope is a TradeMark of Power of Peace Initiative