Book now to reserve your spot on Ethan Evans and Elise Arsenault’s bottle school trip: April 19th to April 25th, 2020

In July 2012, I took my first trip to Guatemala with my mother Jeanette simply because she asked me to. To be completely honest it was not at the top of my to do list, but she talked me into it. However, that trip turned out to be so much more than I could have ever imagined. We both fell in love with this beautiful country and the amazing people that inhabit it. Never before had I experienced such true appreciation for some of the simplest things we take for granted in the US. The basic things we see and do every day without even a second thought are the things the put the biggest smiles on the faces of the Guatemalans we helped. On this first trip we were able to take part in foundation work, stuffing bottles, moving soil, building the bottle walls, painting a school and even opening a new one! It was amazing. We immediately knew that we would return to help Hug It Forward build more schools.

June of 2013, we returned for our second trip to Guatemala with 6 of our friends from Maine (including Elise below) and joined with 5 new friends from other parts of the country to help start the foundation of a new school and we also got to go back to visit one of the completed schools that we had helped to start the previous year. We loved bringing our friends along on this trip and could tell that they fell in love with this experience as we did our first times. Again, we knew this would not be the end!

Due to some conflicts between our schedules my mother and myself were unable to go in 2014. However, we were right back there again in 2015 for our 3rd trip. As I said above, our friends and family fell in love! More of them joined this as we continued to build our pool of Mainers falling in love with Guatemala. Get this, John from our 2013 trip (John came on his own booking through WorldVentures) jumped in on this trip as well! It was great to meet back up again in a country and on a mission we all love. On this trip we were able to really get into the hard work that is pouring a foundation, bending rebar and leveling the soil. It was hard work but extremely rewarding to know you build the foundation that this entire school will sit on. After this third trip, we knew that we had to come back again!

It’s now 2018 (as I am writing this), it has been several years since my mother and I have been to Guatemala and I am dying to get back. Many of my friends have asked me about my nonprofit travels and how to get their friends/family involved in these types of trips. I have all along said that a trip to Guatemala with Hug it Forward is the best one to do in order to get your feet wet. The organization takes care of absolutely anything you need and the experience is next to impossible to beat. So, I am leading another trip back without my mother (at this point) April 19th-20th in 2020. I have already found 9 friends to join me and can’t wait to gather the rest. Don’t miss out on the experience of a life time. Join Us!

– Ethan Evans

When I was 16 years old I was blessed to get the opportunity to volunteer in Guatemala alongside Hug it Forward a team of volunteers. I knew Ethan and his mother Jeanette worked with this incredible foundation the year previously in 2012 and I immediately knew this is something I wanted to take part in. I have traveled abroad multiple times but never have I traveled to a country like Guatemala and for the main purpose of helping others. Little did I know that this trip to Guatemala would change not only my life, but my career path I was going to forego.

I funded all the money I needed for this trip by hand painting custom designs on canvas shoes and selling them for donations. I funded all the money I needed in a couple months and I was ready to go to Guatemala for the first time.

That first trip to Guatemala in 2013 was absolutely life-changing, I fell in love with the beautiful country and it’s people that live there. I immediately knew I wanted to keep giving back. Once I came back to the United States I founded my first company, Painting For a Difference, where I would paint custom shoes and donate 20% of my profits to Hug it Forward.

I revisited Guatemala again with Ethan and Jeanette in 2015 and my love for Guatemala continued to grow. When I was there I met local shoe makers and wanted to not only showcase their products to the world but wanted to help Guatemala’s economy. That is when I had an idea to create my own shoe brand, sourcing shoes from these shoe artists in Guatemala. I did not act on this idea just yet as I wanted to see where my life course would take me.

As I started going to a University not long after that trip, I never forgot my idea for this shoe brand. When I got older I started planning to make this dream a reality. Last summer I returned to Guatemala and lived there for a month with a goal of finding shoe makers. With the help from some of the Hug it Forward members, I left Guatemala with 3 incredibly talented shoe makers and a vision to have this shoe brand leave a mark on this world.

I now own a shoe brand called SOULS, SOULS are handmade in Guatemala and hand-painted by local artists in New England. The mission of SOULS is to create a movement, to pass on positivity and kindness to whomever the wearer crosses paths with in the world.

The bottle school trip in 2013 changed my life forever and I cannot be more excited to return to Guatemala again with Hug it Forward. Every time I go there I learn something new about this beautiful country and I fall in love with it even more. It will be a trip you will never forget and I guarantee you will fall in love with this country just as Ethan and I did! Can’t wait to see you there!

– Elise Arsenault


How kids and communities build bottle schools

Some pictures from our past bottle school trips



Want to know more?

Visit the Hug It Forward web site to find out all about bottle schools.

Information about your trip

Please make sure you read all the information on this web site, including the Information section and the FAQ.

Book now by Paypal, or by check

Your bottle school trip costs $1,299 per person. What does this include?

You can reserve your spot by paying a $650 non-refundable deposit by October 18th, 2019, with the balance ($649) payable in full by February 19th, 2020.

Please make sure you have read the Terms and Conditions before booking.

Have you read the Terms and Conditions?

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How to pay for your trip

There are several ways to pay for your bottle school trip. You can avoid paying fees if you choose Option 1 or Option 2. Choose Option 1 if you have a PayPal balance or if your bank account is linked to PayPal. If neither of these are the case, please choose Option 2 to avoid paying fees. If you want to use PayPal and don’t mind paying fees, please choose Option 3.

Option 1:Pay using Paypal’s “Send Money” feature”

  1. Log in to Paypal (
  2. Click the “Send Money” tab
  3. Enter our email address and the amount $1,299 (or $650 if you are just paying a deposit now)
  4. Before you click “Continue”, choose the “I’m sending money to family or friends” button. If you have a PayPal balance or your bank account is linked to PayPal, you will not have to pay fees. If neither of these are the case, please choose Option 2 or Option 3
  5. In the “Message” box on the following page, please enter which trip you are booking!
  6. That’s it! :)

Option 2:Mail us a check

  1. Mail a check payable to “Serve The World Today” to:
    Serve The World Today
    4600 Hampshire Dr.
    Flower Mound, TX 75028

    • Please write on the memo line of the check which trip you are attending
  2. Send us an email to – please tell us:
    • That you sent a check and what the amount was ($1,299 per person, or $650 if you are just paying a deposit now)
    • Which trip the check is for
    • The name on the check

Option 3: Paying by Paypal (this costs $39 in fees)

Click the “Buy Now” button on the right to pay the $1,299 cost of your voluntourism trip, plus $39 in Paypal fees.

Click the “Buy Now” button on the left to pay the $650 non-refundable deposit for your voluntourism trip.

Please read the Terms and Conditions!

Have you read the Terms and Conditions?

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Fundraising for bottle schools

You might also like to fundraise for Hug It Forward bottle schools. Fundraising for bottle schools is optional – it is not a requirement of participating in a bottle school trip.

If you choose to fundraise, we suggest a $250 fundraising goal, but some people choose to do more or less than this. It’s really up to you – how much you think your friends and families can give, how creative you can be, and how much time you’re prepared to put into it.

See more information about fundraising.