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Long Way Home's mission is to use sustainable design and materials to construct self-sufficient schools that promote education, employment and environmental stewardship. Our vision is to empower communities to break the cycle of poverty through innovative solutions to local challenges.
Long Way Home (LWH) began operations in San Juan Comalapa, in the indigenous highlands of west-central Guatemala, in 2004, with a grassroots, community development strategy to bring local residents together to learn about eco-friendly living, sustainable technologies, and improved waste management solutions. Together with a local NGO and our neighbors, we transformed five acres of rural land into a community park. In lieu of the .25 admission, we charged a plastic bottle stuffed with trash, called "eco-bricks." This created a stream of building materials for our current construction project: building a school.
In December of 2008, LWH purchased land one mile from Comalapa's city center. We began construction of the 18-building green academy, Tecnico Chixot, using re-purposed trash and alternative methods. The structures are robust in their structural integrity, offer additional resistance to seismic activity, and incorporate natural indoor climate controlling properties. At the completion of construction, the school will have the capacity for over 300 students from K-12. The curriculum will be focused on environmental education and alternative solutions, educating the next generation of uniquely skilled entrepreneurs in this community.
Currently we have 90 students K-7, and employ over 40 local residents between the school and construction staff, impacting not just local educational options, but the economy as well! We have already turned over *400 tons of trash* into 14 buildings and, with your help, we can continue our impact locally and globally.