The Bottle School Manual is Β© Copyright 2013 Hug It Forward.
Hug It Forward is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the USA.

This manual is released β€œopen source” under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

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Creative Commons License that applies to the Bottle School Manual:

If you share or reproduce this manual in any way, please credit Hug It Forward and link to our web site

76 Responses to

  1. A downloadable pdf would be nice.
    Why not ask people to help you translate it? An open translation project should be easy to wiki, and there are people on the internet who’d donate a little time to translate a page, or a paragraph. Also, computer-aided translation: google

    • Good evening, thank you for your comments! If you could provide me your email address I would be happy to send you a .pdf version.
      Thank you- Kara

      • Kara that would be awesome if you could send me one. I just left a message for Adam, so this would help a ton!

      • I find myself utterly amazed as well as extremely inspired by this organization’s heroic work. I humbly request to kindly forward me the manual in pdf format as i would like to fit it in our local poor context.
        Many thanks, best wishes and respects.

        • Hello Martin, thank you for requesting the manual. I just emailed it to you. Let us know if you need anything else and good luck!


  2. Would love to learn more, we are planning to build a school in rural Costa Rica and would love to implement this building technology.

    • Hi Trisha, I just emailed you a pdf version of the manual. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Kara

  3. Hello,

    Can I get a copy of the manual? Also, just like another commentator asked, is the manual being translated by anyone at this point? If so, I’d love to give some of my time to help.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Sharon, I have just emailed you a PDF version of the manual. Please let me know if you do not see it shortly.

  4. Dear Kara. could you please send me a pdf version of the manual. I have a friend from Kenia who has started an organisation to try and help the children in his community (starting from the age of 3) to go to school and get educated. The thing is, they are being educated under trees. Hearing about bottle schools, it may be the answers to their prayers.

    • Hi Litsa, I would be happy to email it to you. I will send it over shortly, please let me know if you have any questions.

      Hugs, Kara

  5. I run a school rural Kenya I would like if possible for me to build classrooms using
    This new technology

  6. Hi Kara, this is a good material. Could you please send me the pdf version? I would like to build school in remote area in Indonesia. Thanks in advance πŸ™‚

  7. I appreciate how carfullI you describe the production of this plastic brick, but I also strongy believe that the concept of using “ecoladrillos” as construction material would never pass an EPA or european legislation.

    Working on the plastic litter issue on beaches, I have learned that there are many chemical stressors in the production and especially there where the collected material is in the way of drifting contaminants in the environment.

    The essence is, that you are building MINI DUMP SITES with the waste of society around people/children and there is no way you can prevent the diffusion of the enclosed contaminants.

    On the long run, every single bottle represents a real risk on watersheds and in the case of extreme weather events or earthquakes the bottles will either break and/or loose their content drifting toward the oceans.

    • Hello Michael, thank you for your comments. Hug It Forward’s bottle schools are an approved Mineduc building method in Guatemala, and our focus is on empowering the communities to build their own schools and to teach them the effects of plastics on their environment through the building process.The entire community has ownership because they build the bottle school with their own hands. To make eco-bricks, kids of all ages collect inorganic trash and stuff it into bottles. The environmental education that accompanies this process teaches children about the long-lasting impacts of trash on the environment. In this way, the effects of bottle schools are felt for generations.If you are interested in learning more about our development practices and philosophy, we would love to have you down on a bottle school trip sometime. Visit for more details about our trips.

  8. Hello! Would you please send me a copy of the manual. Also, has a translation been made yet? best – Mary Grace

    • Hi Mary, I am sorry but the manual has not been translated into Spanish. I have emailed regarding sending you a copy of the manual in English.

  9. Hi there
    Looking forward to returning at the end of the month to build another school! Can you also send me the pdf document of the manual? I thought I had it, but can’t seem to locate it. I’ve been talking to a group in Ghana who would also like to build schools and another group in Haiti. Hug It Forward’s work is spanning the globe! Keep up the great work!

    Kind Regards,

    John Kellen
    Tucson Arizona

  10. We will start construction in May 2016 in Rishikesh, India.
    We are very excited and would like a PDF manual as well.
    Can we built on a rooftop, is this done somewhere?
    Namaste and hugs Truike

  11. Hi, We are working on one in Myanmar in coordination with my travel company and a similar project in Cambodia. Would love a PDF copy of this as it is very slow to load each page here. Could you kindly email to me? Thanks in advance!

  12. This is so exciting. Would you please send me the PDF version. Thank you very much. I am just beginning my research so will be back with many more questions. I will be checking out your “serve the world today” site next. Jean Weaver

  13. Would love to have the manual in PDF form emailed – we would like to make an eco-dry-toilet (ecosan) using this kind of bottle-walls for our learning community in rural India

  14. Miss Kara,
    I am developing a concept for environmental projects of our local community. Surprisingly, our ideas are almost the same as your project particularly the use of (trash) plastic and empty bottles in constructing new classrooms. Your website provided us almost all the information we need to pursue with our bottle school project. Thank you for inspiring us together with our community members. Could you send me PDF version of the bottle school manual? I am planning to translate Filipino version of the manual for the consumption of local community. I am also illustrating BOTTLE SCHOOL COLORING BOOK to inspire our young volunteers and to promote the project. You can view some of the initial drawings in my temporary website I hope I can work with you as volunteer artist in the production of IEC materials of your organization. Again, thank you for the inspiration.

  15. Hello Hug It Forward,

    We are a team of 13 Singaporean youths going to Beong village in Cambodia this December in hope to improve the learning environment in Hope in Light English Language Centre (HIL). HIL is a volunteer-run organisation that hold English classes for the children in the evenings. We have been inspired by your innovations and would like to bring them into the village. Apart from bringing in the technology, we would want to make use of this opportunity to inspire the students to be environmentally friendly. We are intending to build a partition bottle wall between 2 classroom instead of the whole classroom. Would you please send me the PDF file? I would also like to ask if there is restriction on the type of bottles being used.

    Sincere thanks.

  16. Hi! I would also like a copy of the manual for the work I’m doing in Guinea with young entrepreneurs. We are looking to use this technique to build student housing. I will also be translating it into French if you are interested. Thanks!

    • That would be wonderful if you could forward a copy of the manual in French! I have just emailed you some information. Thx!! Kara

  17. Hello, I am a Peace Corps Volunteer working in Fiji on the island of Koro. The school committee here is interested in an environmentally friendly and affordable option for building our kindergarten– a project that has been put off for many years now due to cost, but is desperately needed by our community (the 3 villages it serves). My local counterpart, Vito, and I (the school committee chairman) would like to write a grant proposal for a bottle school, and have a few questions so that we can get started:

    1. Are we able to use bottles of varying sizes? In Fiji we generally have access to: 500mL and 1L soda bottles, and then 750mL (square) oil bottles? Being an island country like Fiji, we don’t have the same access to bottles that big cities do, so it will be easiest to be able to just use what we can find!
    2. Can you provide dimensions/blue print for the 2 class room building? Our plan is to build one large room that would be approximately 25×20 ft.

    We are hoping to get the proper information so that we can begin writing our grant ASAP for materials. Our goal is to have the grant submitted and bottles collected and stuffed by the beginning of the next school term in January.

    Any other information would be greatly appreciated!

    We look forward very much to hearing from you,
    Vinaka Vakalevu,
    Carissa Wills-DeMello & Aminiasi Vito

    • Hello Carissa,
      Thanks for your message. I hope this answers your questions.
      1-Yes! You may use the kind of bottle you have. We use 600mL in Guatemala, so you might need approx. 3,500 bottles (if you use the 500mL ones) because you want to build a room that is about the same size as one of our classrooms. The key is to make sure the bottle DOES NOT exceed the width of the column.
      2. I have emailed you the plans πŸ™‚

      Hugs, Kara

  18. Thank you so much for this sharing manual. Could you send me PDF manual, please? I would like to translate in Myanmar and apply this in our rural area. I’m Po Po from Myanmar.
    Best Regards,
    Po Po

  19. Hi there.

    I am a volunteer in my local community near Simon’s Town in the Western Cape, South Africa.
    I would like to start an environmentally friendly training program to assist the community in cleaning up, starting Square Foot gardens for sustainability, training them with skills for job creation and uplifting their environment with bottle schools and other buildings which would assist them in housing solutions.

    I need to write a proposal for potential funders and would like to know if anyone in South Africa has built one of your schools and if the manual I received in November 2013 (Version 2.0) is still the latest version?
    And what information can you offer with regards to wind tolerance and fire safety or risks with using this method of building?

    I am meeting with the Engineers Without Borders South Africa Team to discuss the project in May and would like to have everything planned and researched by the end of April.

    Thank you in advance for any assistance you are able to offer.

    • Hello Michelle,

      I apologize for the delay in responding to your message! We do not know of anyone in South Africa that has built a bottle school. Also, the version 2.0 you received in November 2013 is still the latest version.

      As far as wind tolerance and fire resistance is concerned, do you still need insight into this or was this answered with Engineers Without Borders?


  20. Hello…
    This is a great one. I am from Cameroon and here so many communities doesn’t have schools. So I and my organization will like to implement the bottle-schools project. We planned to build more than 50 bottle-schools in rural areas in Cameroon. It is possible to have a partnership with your organization?
    Can you send me the PDF version of the manual please?

    • Hello Gatien,

      Can you please provide your email so I can send you the PDF version of the manual?

      As far as a partnership goes, we are happy to provide technical support during the project and answer any questions that you might have. Unfortunately, we cannot help with funding as our funds are committed to projects in Guatemala.


  21. Hello, could you please email me a .pdf version of the manuel? There is a community in Nuevo Progreso, San Marcos, Guatemala that I would like to share this with. Thank you!

    • Hi Jo Ann, I apologize for the delay in answering your message. The PDF version of the Bottle School Manual has been emailed to you.

  22. Hello,

    Please kindly email PDF version of the Bottle School Manual as well as links to video for strong understanding of project processes and implemention.


    • Hello Tami, thank you for your message! I just emailed the PDF version of the manual to you. πŸ™‚


  23. Hi…could you please provide a copy of the manual in English and if you have one in Spanish, please send that as well. Thank you. Ross

    • Hi Ross,

      I just emailed you the PDF version of the manual. Let us know if you need anything else!


  24. This is really an excellent project that will help save the environment and encourage community building.
    I would like to try it in Corail, Haiti that was badly hit by Matthew.
    Please send me a PDF version of the manual at

    • Hello Michel, thank you for requesting the manual. I just emailed it to you. Let us know if you need anything else and good luck!


  25. Hello! I really like the initiative because of its contribution to the environment. However, I’m concerned about the structural aspects of the construction of these schools, specially in an earthquake prone area like Guatemala. I would like to get a pdf version of the manual, and perhaps some of my doubts will dissappear. If you could send it to my email address I would appreciate it.
    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Maria, thank you for your message! I have emailed the PDF of the manual to you.

      Regarding your concerns about the structural integrity, we utilize post and beam construction which is used all over the world. The structural integrity comes from the concrete and rebar columns/beams, and not the bottles themselves. Additionally, we are also concerned about earthquakes and that is why we only build one story classrooms. No building is earthquake-proof, but there have been many earthquakes in Guatemala since we have started building the schools and they are all still standing and safe to be used.

      Please review the manual and let us know if you have additional questions or concerns. πŸ™‚


  26. Hi! Greetings from Brunei. I am really inspired by this bottle school project ! Love the fact that it involves the community and recycles items such as bottles and plastics . Could I have a PDF version of the manual please?

    thank you so much

    • Hi Dawn, thank you for your interest in the bottle technology. I just emailed the PDF version of the manual to you. πŸ™‚


  27. I am a civil engineer serving in rural areas in the state of Meghalaya of Northeast India & am interested to try the project in one of the villages. Please email your PDF version of the bottle school manual. Thank you…..Traibor

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