The program, sponsored by World Ventures Foundation and the Hug It Forward organization, empowers remote communities without schools the opportunity to build a sustainable structure for the educational future of their children.
The Allen family worked side by side with community members and played with the children who will attend the school.
“The members of the community collected the 10,000 bottles needed for the school walls and stuffed each one with inorganic trash until solid,” Celeste Allen said.
“Previous volunteers laid the cement foundation and columns,” explained Eric Allen. “Our group worked in pairs to tie the individual bottles to a chicken wire framework with plastic cord. The cord was pulled hard to make the bottles as tight as possible.”
“Then we mixed cement, and it was splashed over the bottles with a hand trowel and smoothed into a wall,” said Bryce Allen, who couldn’t believe that the Guatemalan children were happy despite living in houses with dirt floor and the lack of toys and electronics.
Allen and her son agreed that the trip will change them forever. “You leave with a greater sense of compassion, empathy and gratitude,” Eric said.