In 2009, Hug It Forward was introduced to a Peace Corps Volunteer named Laura Kutner thanks to a serendipitous phone call.
Laura told us that the community of Granados, a small town in the highlands of Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, was building a school made from plastic bottles and other inorganic trash – but they had run out of money for the project. Five Hug It Forward volunteers traveled to Granados with the funds, and spent a month helping to complete what was soon to be known as a “bottle school”.
It was an inspirational experience for us all to see the whole community come together as one to build the school: kids as young as five collecting bottles from the streets, the side of the mountain and riverbanks; mothers motivating the kids and stuffing the bottles with trash; fathers volunteering their labor at the construction site, having already worked long days in the fields.
After we witnessed the people of Granados completing that first bottle school, we were inspired to create a system for more