Build a Green School in Guatemala for 300 Maya

by Long Way Home, Inc.
May 4, 2011

Roofs, Bathrooms and 3rd Place in the BBC World Challenge!

center tool shed
center tool shed

First of all we want to extend a huge thanks to everyone who voted for us in the BBC World Challenge 2010. We placed THIRD!! The $10,000 cash reward has enabled us to continue various projects at the Technico Maya Vocational School at a fast pace. 


Since the last report the school has seen a lot of progress. We've put a roof on the patio of the first set of vocational classrooms. This roof gives us additional covered workspace, particularly valuable during the rainy season that is about to start.

Furthermore, our first Dry-Composting Latrinepermanent latrine is almost completed (pictured at left). It's fantastic to finally have real toilets on the site instead of using a pit latrine. The walls are made of plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash housed in a supportive structure made of bamboo. This structure contains 1,500 pounds of garbage that would otherwise be burned or thrown into water ways!  It is a dry-composting latrine, meaning there is no need for water for flushing, and the human waste is collected to provide water and fertilizer for the organic garden and tree nursery. The latrine has been constructed with the help of a variety of volunteers, among them a group from Florida International University and George Washington University. Thanks to all who participated!

At the beginning of April the Guatemalan crew, Gringo staff and three volunteers took a trip to San Marcos, Lake Atitlan for one week to help build a structure with Earthship Biotecture. This trip provided the Guatemalan workers an opportunity to see another part of their country...most of them do not have the means to travel and none of them had ever been to the Lake. 


Working with Earthship Biotecture gave us the idea to use more glass bottles on top of walls, a fancy feature we instantly applied on the ongoing construction of the vocational classrooms' center tool shed (pictured below). center tool shed This tool shed has also been built in the last month-and-a-half. However, the roof is still missing and we are busy fundraising for the US $1500 to complete the roof and bond beam...hopefully before the heavy rains start.

Thanks to everybody who has supported us and to all the volunteers and workers at the site. You make this project happen! Stay tuned for more updates.



Dry-Composting Latrine
Dry-Composting Latrine

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Organization Information

Long Way Home, Inc.

Location: Ashland, OR - USA
Website: https:/​/​
Project Leader:
Elie Lahaie
Georgetown, MA United States

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