Earthbags & Eco-bricks: building homes for kids – by Amy Yeung in Guatemala

Heather and Greg of Project Somos

Heather and Greg of Project Somos

Wow, how time flies! I’ve been in Guatemala for four weeks so I figure it’s finally time to tell you a little bit about the organization I’m working for. Project Somos is a non-profit led by two amazing people, Heather Knox and Greg Kemp.  Their goal is to create a children’s village, which will provide a secure home, a loving family and a hopeful future for Guatemalan children in need.  The vision is to build a village that will be ecologically and financially sustainable and be comprised of seven homes with seven mothers and 49 children. There will be buildings for village activities, guest rooms, art and music workshops, a library, administrative space and of course, a large playground and soccer field for the kids.

This week was quite the milestone as we began building the first house in the children’s village.  The exterior walls are being built using “earthbags,” which are repurposed bags filled with soil and cement.  The interior walls will be created with “eco-bricks,” which are plastic bottles filled with plastic bags.  We are continuously thinking of creative ideas for how to decorate the house as sustainably as possible. Some of the ideas we came up with included using bamboo for curtain rods and toilet paper holders, building couches with earthbags, using coloured bottles to create stain-glass windows and searching out second hand textiles for all the curtains and couch upholstery.

Ethical Bean Coffee has a direct tie to Project Somos as Lloyd Bernhardt, co-owner of Ethical Bean, is one of the Project Somos Board Members.  For the last 3 years, Ethical Bean has donated partial proceed from every bag of coffee sold in December to Project Somos and another Guatemalan organization called Child Aid.

To find out more about this exciting and revolutionary project stay-tuned, as every Friday I’ll be writing a new blog about my adventures here in Guatemala.


One Response:
  • Jenn Holden

    Heather and Greg are very good beans. I am thankful to know them, and look forward to watching them continue to change the lives of people in Guatemala. A beautiful country that deserves no less than this very special effort on the part of Project Somos. Love them!

Leave a Reply