While volunteering with Long Way Home in San Juan Comalapa, we learned about a fantastic way of recycling inorganic rubbish. All that does not decompose is tightly stuffed into a plastic bottle and then used as building material: the rubbish-filled bottle brick (‘Eco-ladrillo’ in Spanish).
As inorganic rubbish does not stop at the gates of Ak’Tenamit, last year we decided to introduce this recycling scheme with building a small bottle brick bench. Daniel asked his students to hand in one bottle each in return for some points towards their English grade. The response was impressive: within no time we collected 250 bottle bricks and the grounds of Ak’Tenamit had never been so tidy. In December we mixed some concrete, piled the bottles on top of each other and since then the bench has enjoyed great popularity. Here are some photos illustrating the process of building it.