Book now to reserve your spot on Ron Gin and Jenessa Schacht’s bottle school trip: January 15-21, 2015

Come Join Us in Guatemala!

The Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown and friends are continuing the volunteer work that our fellow Rotary Clubs participated in Jan 2014. Your journey starts in Guatemala City, Antigua, and the surrounding area. For a week we will be having the best vacation possible – traveling, enjoying cultures, sight seeing, helping others, and making a difference.

With all of the unrest and problems in the Central America, over half of the population of Guatemala is below the national poverty line and 13% of the population lives below the extreme poverty line. Guatemala (former Mayan civilization) is the most populous country in Central America with the highest fertility rate in Latin America. Almost half the country is under 19 years of age. Education is free and compulsory for six years. However, only 30% of the students who begin primary school complete this level of education. Nearly 31.7% of the country’s 12 million population is illiterate. You can make a difference by helping them build a rural “bottle school” (eco-bricks) and providing a safe community school for their children. If you would rather help by writing a check, we will gladly accept your generous donation, but what they really need is manpower and boots on the ground to jumpstart the process.

– Ron Gin


Have you ever wondered how you could possibly make a difference in this world? Well, if you are passionate about environmental sustainability as well as having the belief that every child has the right to an education then I have an amazing volunteer opportunity for you. To help build a bottle school!!

Hug It Forward is a grass-roots organization that facilitates education and awareness by empowering communities in Latin America to build “bottle schools”. What are bottle schools you may ask? Well… Bottle schools are built using tried and tested post and beam construction. The foundations, columns and beams are made from concrete reinforced with iron. The difference with traditional construction is that instead of cinder-blocks or bricks, the walls are made using “eco-bricks”. To make “eco-bricks”, children in the village collect inorganic trash such as plastic bags, chip packets and polystyrene and stuff them into plastic bottles until they are hard like bricks. The eco-bricks are sandwiched in between chicken wire, and covered with cement to form the walls of the school.

Bottle schools are much cheaper to build than traditional schools; they clean up the environment, teach lessons about environmental sustainability, and involve the entire community in their construction, resulting in a sense of pride and ownership.

– Jenessa Schacht


How kids and communities build bottle schools

Pictures from previous 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 $1,195 per person. What does this include?

You can reserve your spot by paying a $595 non-refundable deposit by September 30th, 2014, with the balance ($600) payable in full by November 15th, 2014.

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 $1,195 (or $595 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
    4307 1/2 Ocean Blvd
    San Diego
    CA 92109
  2. Send us an email to – please tell us:
    • That you sent a check and what the amount was ($1,195 per person, or $595 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 $36 in fees)

Click the “Buy Now” button on the right to pay the $1,195 cost of your voluntourism trip, plus $36 in Paypal fees.

Click the “Buy Now” button on the left to pay the $595 non-refundable deposit for your voluntourism trip.

Please read the Terms and Conditions!

Have you read the Terms and Conditions?

Yes No

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.