Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bottle School Construction has begun!

only a week late :)

I dunno; given the circumstances (Guatemala, the construction business and the fact that I recently spent a week in the States), seven days behind schedule seems pretty acceptable. I can’t complain.

I’ve included some recent photos; first of all, check out how many bottles we have now (thanks in part to the two teachers you can see in the foreground)

As for other building materials, here are kids from the community unloading the 360 cement blocks we’ll use in the foundation:

The big recent event came on Tuesday, when Cementos Progreso delivered the 250 bags of cement they donated to our project; that’s Don Miguel, my community counterpart, who's standing next to the truck:

Aaaaand…..that’s me unloading cement, Guatemalan style:

You’d be surprised how ergonomically correct this method is; you support all the weight with your legs – honestly, my back is fine.

Of course, you do end up getting kind of dirty:

I ended up having to wash my shirt by hand so I’d look presentable for the groundbreaking ceremony later that morning (pictures forthcoming – see if there’s a noticeable difference lol)

Here’s our head mason Frainer, preparing the rebar which will help form the structural support for the school’s cement columns. In the background, left to right: Don Miguel, Rosanio (Planning Office Director) and Anibal (Municipal Secretary)

Here are the kids starting to line up for the groundbreaking ceremony:

And here we are, about to place the primera piedra (“first stone”, ha ha but in this case it’s a concrete block) From left to right: Me, Councilman Alfredo, Mayor Miriam and Rosanio

Aaaaaand…..the first stone has been placed. I’m looking at Rosanio being like, “Is this supposed to support a building?” and he’s like, “yeah, it’s just symbolic anyway.” Lol

Yep, all ready to start building :)

Seriously though! I’m excited. Tomorrow we’re going to go buy the wooden boards with which to form the concrete columns and beams; once the sand and gravel gets delivered, we’ll be all ready to start pouring. Yeah bottle school!


  1. That is SOo funny!.... I'm in a dentist office laughing out loud... Disturbing the peace!

  2. Geeeez........ you've got bags, and bags, and MORE bags of plastic bottles.
    The grounds and trails around there must look clean 'n green!

    Are the kids putting trash in receptacles... and not just anywhere on the ground?

  3. Unfortunately people still just throw their trash on the ground :( It's unfortunate, because I think most people are too poor to be bothered about dealing with trash...they have much more pressing responsibilities (like getting a school built)'s a challenge for sure