The Hero School gives students the resources and training they need to use green building to combat environmental degradation and challenges within their communities. Students learn to identify problems in their community and address them by repurposing waste to build dry compost latrines, water tanks, and stove filtration systems for under-resourced households.
According to 2009 census data, of 41,520 residents in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala: only 7% of children attend secondary school; 0% of residents have appropriate waste management solutions; and, 14% report full-time employment with benefits. The cycle of poverty is hard to break when burning garbage or throwing it into the local ravine leads to poor health outcomes and from there to low school attendance and few employment options.
The Hero School at CETC is a unique program implemented in grades 7-11 that engages students in a project-based learning that improves critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a way that also teaches them to be active participants in their communities. Through the process of identifying families in need, designing and budgeting for a household infrastructure project, and then building the project, our students learn skills for employability, improve the quality of life for their community
In Comalapa, 64% of the population live in poverty and 27% live in extreme poverty. Water sources are contaminated with waste and many families lack proper smoke filtrating stoves, causing gastrointestinal and respiratory issues. Comprehensive solutions to these problems are few/expensive. Green building implemented through the classroom is an affordable way to address all of these concerns and one that gives students the opportunity to be active community participants and entrepreneurial change
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