WorldVentures Foundation and Hug It Forward Inaugurate 100th Bottle School in Guatemala
Plano, Texas, January 5, 2017 — WorldVentures Foundation™ and Hug It Forward marked a milestone in their respective mission to serve children by dedicating the 100th bottle school during four-day festivities in Tierra Colorada, Guatemala, last month. The historic occasion was the culmination of the year-long Journey to 100: Give. Build. Inspire. campaign, which raised over US$600,000 for construction of 29 bottle schools to reach the target of 100. Since 2011, the foundation and Hug It Forward have led 80 bottle-school VolunTours to the region with 1,482 volunteers, contributing countless service hours and impacting 4,000 children annually.
“These schools aren’t for Hug It Forward or WorldVentures Foundation, they’re for the communities of Guatemala – giving the opportunity for hundreds of kids to go to school,” said Gerson Guitz, Hug It Forward’s director of bottle schools.
Bottle schools are built using “eco-bricks,” which are plastic bottles stuffed with non-perishable trash. The bottles act solely as insulation and structural strength is based on proven post-and-beam construction methods. Entire communities unite and work alongside volunteers to build a bottle school, so it is truly a labor of love.
It is estimated that only three of 10 Guatemalan children complete the sixth grade. Re-using plastic “waste” to build bottle schools provides sustainable living for the children of Guatemala, cleans the community of trash, and educates villagers about recycling.
The 100th bottle school celebration, which was held December 15-18, was a testament to the community influence of this initiative. Locals greeted guests with a sprinkling of pine needles– an ancient Mayan gesture signifying respect and hospitality – along with dancing, and taking turns sharing words of gratitude.
Wayne Nugent, founder and chief visionary officer of WorldVentures™, was also present and shared his sentiments. “We want to inspire people to make a difference in their own community,” he said. “We can do this by granting a child the opportunity of an education, and showing the impact it creates not only for the children, but for their families.”
About WorldVentures Foundation
The WorldVentures Foundation is a U.S. 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to create positive change in the lives of children all over the world. The foundation supports sustainable programs that promote children’s health, happiness, safety and development. Represented by the Heart to Serve logo and tagline, the mission is accomplished through four main ways: VolunTours, Volunteer Days, Dream Courts™ and fundraising. Learn more at worldventuresfoundation.org.
About Hug It Forward
Hug It Forward is a grassroots organization that facilitates education and awareness by empowering communities to build bottle schools. Bottle schools are schools built using “eco-bricks” — plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash. Entire communities come together to build a more sustainable educational infrastructure for their future. Hug It Forward also strives to raise awareness in developed countries about trash, consumption and the power of community. This mission is equally important as facilitating the construction of bottle schools in developing countries.