Bottle Schools

I ran into an article on How you can help build bottle schools for kids in Guatemala. While this organization only does these projects in El Salvador and Guatemala, the idea looks interesting. If it works on two of the CA-4 countries, it should work in the other two.

I am not very excited about the volunteer opportunity aspect of the particular project ($1200 plus your own air travel for a week mostly doing work) but the idea of building the schools from close to nothing is interesting. I would be interested in more details on the actual construction particularly focusing on cost and materials savings.

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Sounds like a building that will have to be clad...

…in something UV resistant -- concrete appears to be what they're using. I'd have some concern about expansion differences -- concrete stucco on concrete blocks is less of a problem. Pepsi appears to be involved with some of these projects.

Nicaraguans seem resistant to the idea -- someone here has been trying to promote it and gets fairly well ignored.

If someone builds one that last 50 years, then Nicaraguans would pay attention, but choices in building materials here are cheap and not particularly labor intensive (lumber and timber slabs from squaring logs or lumber and sheet metal siding) or really built to last (cinderblock or brick, which are replacing mud and cane around Jinotega). This sounds to me like knitting a house on number 3 needles -- really labor intensive. And if it has any cracks, that's a building with lots and lots of voids in the tropics.

Rebecca Brown