Over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2016, 20 young adults and families impacted by addiction, along with other supporters/allies, 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 underpriviledged children living in destitute conditions while simultaneously finding a way to replace their hunger for drugs/alcohol by using the substance already inside their bodies, dopamine, to get the “high” they seek, naturally through the fulfillment of impacting others.
How it works
The Guatemala Bottle School Project, founded and created by the nonprofit organization Hug It Forward, builds schools for the poorest children of Guatemala. These innovative schools are built with “eco-bricks” created through recycled plastic bottles. This initiative provides an opportunity for those with substance use disorder and their allies 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 to overdose. It is a collaborative effort between Hopedealers Worldwide, and Hug It Forward.
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