Trash for Education


Hotel Hacienda Merida is one of the hostels along this trip which has made a great impression on me. They found a way to keep the village clean and educate their children. The idea is so simple and so genius.

1. Instead of bringing their non-organic trash to the landfill, they stuff plastic bottles with their trash until they have a solid bottle with compressed plastic.

2. They use these compressed plastic bottles as bricks to build walls of classrooms for an elementary school.

3. They convinced the village to collaborate. Now, everyone compresses its trash in plastic bottles instead of dumping it at the side of the road or burning it in their yard. Hacienda Merida is paying them 50ct (15 Cordoba) for 1 bottle. Every bottle becomes an EcoBrick.

4. A good part of the hostel’s profit goes into the school project (building classrooms, paying teachers, buying books,…)

The school is located next to the hostel. They provide class rooms, sanitary facilities, drinking water and a very nice environment; everything is built with the trash filled bottles.

As a result, the village is one of the cleanest places at Ometepe and the children learn sustainability from the beginning. A great project!

A video about the project:

The hompage:

Additional photos below
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