Thanks to the initiative and perseverance of Peace Corps Volunteer Trent Hodges, Las Mañanitas in Guatemala now has a new schoolhouse... made out of plastic bottles. Local students and residents were asked to stuff bits of discarded plastic into 12 ounce plastic soda bottles until they were firmly packed! 2,500 of these “ecobricks” were then used to fill in the concrete walls of the new school house. This technology neutralizes the plastic and gets local residents to start thinking of creative and constructive (get it?) ways to dispose of rubbage (rather than burning it in the mangroves). Garbage is an intractable problem in the "Hawaii Park" area of Guatemala, and affects not only the health of local residents and ecosystems, but is also an eyesore for tourists.
Many thanks to the following organizations who helped fund the school: Hug it Forward Foundation, Fundacion Primavera, the Mañanitas Beach Lounge, and the following hotels: Cafe del Sol, Hawaiian Paradise, Honolulu, Dulce y Salado, Casa Bella, La Haina, Utz Tzaba, Villa Kairos and Johnny’s Place.