Hug It Forward celebrates the idea of giving out pure love, without expecting anything in return. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Hug It Forward empowers rural communities in Guatemala to build “Bottle Schools”, schools built using plastic soda bottles and other inorganic trash.
In our collaborative work together, each organization leverages its strengths to ensure that Guatemala’s education system improves through the construction of 2- and 3-classroom schools. Hug It Forward’s in-country infrastructure serves as the foundation to our project’s success. Hug It Forward identifies the Guatemalan communities that are in need of a Bottle School and Advance Guatemala helps by raising the funds to build the Bottle School.
Innovation That Creates Change
Our modern consumer culture generates billions of tons of inorganic trash every year, much of which is plastic based. Many communities do not have the adequate means to properly treat non-biodegradable trash, so it often ends up being burned or ends up contaminating our urban and rural environments.
Bottle classroom projects provide an efficient solution to these two global problems as well as many other benefits.
Access To Education
Increasing access to education in rural and indigenous communities is a positive step toward tackling other complex issues such as poverty, because an educated populace will be more likely to be resilient in the face of future development obstacles.
Bottle classroom projects provide a safe, clean, and comfortable educational atmosphere where children will be able to learn and grow for generations to come.
Raise Environmental Consiousness
Every bottle classroom construction is accompanied by our environmental education program that teaches the community about the long-lasting negative impacts that trash can have on the environment, as well as local solutions to such obstacles. The creation of the bottle classroom projects’ eco-bricks is an example of putting what is learned about repurposing inorganic waste into practice.
The Ripple Effect
Each Hug It Forward project is an investment in the local community’s intangible sense of resiliency and self-empowerment that will continue to positively influence and inspire future project proposals. Many communities we have collaborated with to execute bottle classroom projects have gone on to solicit and receive funding for future community-wide projects. Each bottle classroom project inauguration is a step towards fostering communities with an increased access to education and environmental consciousness whose long term benefits are limitless.
My name is Ingrid Solovi and I’m in 9th grade. I’m 15 years old. I have 5 siblings. My family works in the fields, mainly in agriculture. We get up very early in the morning to go work on the fields till it’s dark. My parents work hard to provide the resources so we can go to school. I help my parents on the fields in the morning so I can come to school in the afternoon shift.
I’m very content and thankful at the same time because we didn’t have a school before. Thanks to Hug It Forward now we have 3 classrooms. The new classroom will provide the community new opportunities and more kids will be able to attend school.
Having a new school gives me joy, enthusiasm and optimism for the future. We now have a school that is safe, and we learn about different things… and even have computers! Having our own school makes us feel satisfied and accomplished.
My name is Sixto Sepet; I’m in 8th grade. I’m 15 years old. I have 8 siblings. My family work in agriculture and we work in the fields all day.
Before Hug It Forward built a school, we didn’t have our own classrooms. We used to rent a house to use as a school, but our parents didn’t have enough resources, and this is the reason some kids couldn’t come to school. Now we have a beautiful school and we feel very proud because we helped build it.
Having a new school means we have new opportunities. We come to school to learn about math, science but we also learn about entrepreneurism and this is very important for our community because it motivates us to create products that we can trade with other communities.
My name is Antolin Jutzutz, I’m 42 years old. Me and my wife and our 7 kids work in agriculture. We work hard so our kids can come to school.
Our community has changed a lot. There are more kids getting enrolled in school and they are happy because they have their own facilities. This motivates them to stay in school.
Me and my wife couldn’t go to school because many years ago we didn’t have one in our community. We are extremely thankful to Hug It Forward because now our children and grandchildren have a place to learn. The community doesn’t have the resources to build one school but the support Hug It Forward is giving the communities is enabling more kids to go to school and have a better future.
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