Nov 19, 2019

August-October Report

Volunteer Feature
Volunteer Feature

Green Building News


Volunteer Feature:

In these past months we have been busy pounding tires and building glass bottle walls here on the construction site. A diverse cast of enthusiastic international volunteers, has helped the work to go quickly and smoothly! Thank you to Deide from the Netherlands, Perla from the USA, Melanie from France, Magdy from the UK, and Sandra from Mexico. We also hosted a group from Naropa University’s LeapYear program, who contributed seven more sets of muscles during their two week stay with us. Talk about team bonding!

There’s no better way to start a three month alternative semester than jumping into a trench and pounding dirt and trash into tires to construct a retaining wall. If you’re interested in learning about and contributing muscles to an innovative non-profit, join us as an individual volunteer or bring a volunteer group. You can contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@lwhome.org to sort out the logistics!

We’ve also been busy putting the finishing touches on the July 2019 Academy house. Check out the  photos below to see how the space is coming together!

 

Education News

The Guatemalan school year has come to a close. Looking back on the 2019 school year, we’re incredibly proud of our students and their accomplishments. This year, students led the construction of 19 tinacos (water tanks), 3 compost latrines,1 stove, and 1 tire retaining wall. These projects benefit families identified in the student led living conditions survey. 

  • Get inspired by the power of student-led change by checking out our CETC Student Project photos here.

In addition to the school projects, CETC students took home awards in local academic competitions. In a math and language competition between 15 other schools in Comalapa, CETC students won first place for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades and second place for 5th grade! A week later, CETC kindergarten, 5th grade, and 11th graders took home first place in the Comalapan Science Fair and went on to represent Comalapa in the Chimaltenango Departmental Science Fair. 

 

Community News

In 2020, EWB University of Minnesota and LWH will begin their next piped water project. The work will be focused in the community of Chiri Juyu, an aldea (village) just east of Comalapa’s central neighborhoods. In 2020, LWH will support EWB as it assesses the state of household piped water connection and potential project designs. You can see the impact of our last project with EWB in this video. 

We’ve launched into the school break months and holiday season here in Comalapa. Starting off the fun was Día de los Santos (All Saints Day) on November 2nd. Families celebrated this holiday in the local cemetery with their loved ones (alive and ancestral). In the cemetery families brought food, flew kites and hung out all day (some arriving to the cemetery at 5am and some leaving after 8pm). Its beautiful to see the strength of the Comalapan community during this time of year.

 

NGO News

Mark your calendars for this year’s #GivingTuesday on December 3rd! In this season of gratitude, we hope that you consider giving to LWH and help us continue to grow powerful education and economic opportunities. This year, our #GivingTuesday campaign will be focused on raising money to complete our CETC campus cafeteria and teacher’s lounge. Our goal, $8,000. The impact, two buildings that repurpose plastic, tire, and glass waste into welcoming spaces for teachers and students to gather and strengthen community. Learn more about our #GivingTuesday campaign and how you can become a LWH Giving Tuesday Ambassador!

  

Academy House Progress 1
Academy House Progress 1
Academy House Progress 2
Academy House Progress 2
Academy House Progress 3
Academy House Progress 3
Dia de los Santos in Comalapa
Dia de los Santos in Comalapa
#GivingTuesday 2019
#GivingTuesday 2019

Links:


Attachments:
    Sep 6, 2019

    Green Building, Education, and Community, Oh My! *Plus the 2017-18 Annual Report Release*

    Bachillerato students during latrine construction
    Bachillerato students during latrine construction

    Green Building Update - Academy Success

    We held our third Academy this past July, focusing building on a third house on the Peren property. 7 full time and 4 part time students joined us from the US, the UK, Mexico, and Guatemala to build an entire house from the ground up. Peter McIntosh from Natural Building Collective lead the in-class and on-site practical sessions while Matt, Adam, Roberto and Hugo led hands-on construction sessions. 

    Roberto Peren, our construction team leader, has taken a leap with his family. He has invested in the LWH building process, demonstrating for the Comalapan community that a house made from "trash" can be beautiful as well as produce a positive impact on the local environment. Roberto and the LWH team are on the frontline of making sustainable and resilient housing available in low-resourced and climate-stressed communities. Click here for the overview video.

     

    Education Update - CETC Seniors' Final Projects

    Over the course of 10 days, our CETC seniors (7 boys and 5 girls) completed their grade level projects - two dry compost latrines. The two latrines were built for and with two families in the neighboring village of Xiquin Sanaii. The families were identified from the student-led living conditions survey conducted in 2017. 4 Bachillerato teachers alongside 3 of our green builders supervised the builds.

    These projects embody purpose-based education, youth led community development, and interdisciplinary teamwork. Students, builders, teachers, and Xiquin community members came together to implement a sustainable solution to a local challenge. 

     

    Community Update –

    Paraxaj Water Project

    A piped water system is now delivering clean water to 1,200 people in Parajax, Guatemala - a neighboring village of Comalapa! 

    Engineers Without Borders University of Minnesota Chapter partnered with LWH and Parajax to install the piped water system. LWH's five prior project partnerships with EWB Minnesota have delivered piped water to nearly 1,000 families. Click here for the overview video.

    Campus Repaving Project

    The CETC Parent's Committee has completed three phases of the campus repaving project, using recycled cobblestones from town. Now three key walkways are paved! This will significantly reduce dust, creating a safer environment for kids to breathe and play. Click here for the overview video.

    We would like to thank donors, Heidi and Austin Spinella, for their generous support of this campus development project! .

     

    Non-Profit Update

    2017 -2018 Annual Report Released!

    After much anticipation, here is a review of the work completed by LWH from 2017-2018. We're grateful for the successes and lessons learned from these years. Look out for a 2019 Annual Report release in February 2020! Read the full report here.

    LWH Visionaries Documentary

    The Visionaries documentary episode "Green Building - A Long Way from Home" is showing on more and more public TV stations across the US! Check out the schedule here and/or check out the full episode in the link below.

     

    If you feel inspired by the work we're doing to generate economic opportuinity and resilient systems in climate-stressed communities, invest with us by becoming a recurring donor.

    Romeo and Reese during the July Academy
    Romeo and Reese during the July Academy
    July Academy graduates
    July Academy graduates
    Bachillerato students with their finished latrine
    Bachillerato students with their finished latrine

    Links:

    Jun 11, 2019

    Green building expands & CETC student wins a prize for presentation on Women's Rights!

    CETC students wins price
    CETC students wins price

    We greatly appreciate your ongoing support of Long Way Home! Your donations help us to continue to carry out our mission to construct self-sufficient schools and houses, primarily serving children and families in the highlands town and surrounding villages of San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala. Read below to see how your support is manifesting into impactful and meaningful action in Comalapa.

    March

    In our 2nd Green Building Academy in March, our builders and students from around the world constructed a house using key green building materials - tires, cob, glass bottles, eco-bricks, and bamboo to name a few. This house was designed for a local family and will be ready for move-in by July. Our Academy students loved diving into classroom and applied learning on the subject of green building as well as a month of meaningful intercultural exchange. The month of building concluded with the roof and walls completed and window and door frames installed in the house. It is now ready for electric installations and finishing touches to the inside and outside.

    Also in late March, LWH welcomed back the Viv corporate service group. Lead by Centro Educativo Tecnico Chixot students, this group helped to build 18 water tanks for families in need in the mountain village of Xiquin Sanai. This three-day service project was a great success for all. Thank you to Viv, the CETC middle and high school students and their teachers, and our local green building construction team for contributing muscles and minds to addressing the need for clean water storage in Xiquin!

    April

    In April, we started partnering with FUNDATED, a Guatemalan organization specializing in empowering vulnerable people and communities. The FUNDATED team coached our teachers on how to detect learning challenges for students and provide early psycho-social support for students. The goal is to offer direct help to our students who need it the most.

    Another big step forward for campus construction is in progress right now. In April, Long Way Home builders, teachers, and parents collected thousands of cobble stones from the town square and are now using them to pave the walkways in front of classrooms. These cobble stones were made available to the public after the local government decided to repave town roads. This is another perfect example of how we repurpose local materials into our one-of-a-kind campus.

    May

    This past May, CETC 11th grade high school student, Joseline Morales, won the title of “Princess of Art” at the Rumial Qa Tinamit Celebration in Comalapa. In front of a big crowd in Comalapa's central park, she spoke about the emancipation of indigenous women and their rights to participate in political and social debates.

    June

    Finally, our construction of a Health Center for people living in the danger zone of Volcano Fuego in Santa Maria Sibaja is in its final phase and projected to be completed by June 2019. More than 3,000 eco-bricks and 300 tires have been used in this bamboo-structured clinic. The clinic includes two medical service rooms, an administration and entrance lobby, a storage room for medical equipment, and sanitary restrooms. We thank GlobalGiving for the grant to make this project possible.

    As 2019 carrys on, please consider supporting our school further as we excitedly continue expansion of the campus, students served, and grades offered. We appreciate your support and always enjoy the opportunity to share our stories with you - the people that help make them possible!

    With gratitude for your contributions to our organization, mission, and community,

    The Long Way Home Team

    CETC students prepare the water tanks
    CETC students prepare the water tanks
    Water tanks for 18 families in Xiquin Sanai
    Water tanks for 18 families in Xiquin Sanai
    Viv Group and Academy Students
    Viv Group and Academy Students
    2nd Green Building Academy
    2nd Green Building Academy
    2nd Green Building Academy House
    2nd Green Building Academy House
    Project Health Center in Santa Maria Sibaja
    Project Health Center in Santa Maria Sibaja
    CETC kids phoning
    CETC kids phoning
    CETC primary class
    CETC primary class
    Reutilizing cobble stone to pave our school
    Reutilizing cobble stone to pave our school

    Links:

     
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