In June 2014 Building Communities and the partner organizationen, PEILE, were on a visit in the community, Nueva Esperanza, which is situated in the region Huehuetenango.
At the moment the 31 children in the village are taught in to small buildings. In one of the houses, the cooker of the school is also placed, which causes quite a lot of inconvienience during classes. It is dripping from the ceiling, there is no electric light and the space is cramped. The village is situated in the highlands of Guatemala, where it gets quite chilly, so it can be difficult for the children to concentrate during classes, becuase they don’t have either doors nor windows that can keep the cold out.
Feliciana Morales (on the picture) was one of the women who came to meet us during our visit to tell us about the problems they have in the village. The central topic was the impoverished soil. The inhabitants of the village were very interested about farming and biological farming, because all of the families have land (plots) where they cultivate corn. They told us that they sometimes buy some fertilizer and other times they spend the few means they have on pesticides. They don’t know whether or not it is the right thing they use though. The yield is often poor and not enough to support the familiy the whole year.
During the visit we gathered a lot of useful information needed to proceed with the planification of a sustainable school with schoolgardens. The school is for all the inhabitants of the village. Besides being used as a school it will also be a centre of education in sustainable farming, first aid, and nutrition, in order to give the families concrete knowledge and give guidelines how to break the circle of poverty.
It is the architects Malene Hvidt, Hans Bærholm and architect student Lise Guldager, that pro bono have made a design for the new school where the roof, for example, slopes in order to gather rainwater and to which school gardens are connected. The Danish group collaborates with ingeneer Marxel Mendez, responsible of construction Pío Dionicio, coordinator Alirio Ochoa and coordinator for the school garden, Flor de María Macario Gómez.
The company Egro is in on the planifications of the school garden.
On the first of May 2015 the first season in the school garden was initiated and in the beginning of June the construction work was started. The inhabitants of the community are very comitted, so even though everything is done by manual work, advances are made little by little.
The school was inaugurated the 22nd of November 2015.
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