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In February 2012, 21 LUSH staff from across the North American business went to Guatemala to work on a Bottle School, in partnership with the non-profit organization Hug It Forward.
As a Charity Pot Partner, Hug It Forward receives funding from LUSH to further empower Guatemalan communities with educational opportunities. While they provide support for the project, the school community actually builds the structure; one of the main connections Hug It Forward makes is linking up groups of people who can work on a portion of the project alongside them. In this case, LUSH Voluntourists participated in one stage of the El Retiro community project. Bottle Schools take several months to complete—learn more about this amazing work, and how anyone can help build a Bottle School here.
Aimee O’Donnell Saunders joined the trip from the LUSH Content Team. Here she shares 13 memories from her travel journal:
Waking up with Christy’s coffee and breakfast every morning in San Martin. The same blend of Hug It Forward coffee is available for delivery back home, but the food isn’t as good as the Full Moon Café. I am especially hungry for the breakfast burritos!
Wearing one common thread: Black “I *Heart* Chari...
Valentine’s Day, 2013: LUSH employees arrive in El Retiro, a Guatemalan village perched along a hillside. By the end of the day, all 19 had left a bit of their hearts there forever.
LUSH staff travelled to El Retiro, Guatemala to work with the non-profit group Hug It Forward. Charity Pot—LUSH’s main charitable giving program, has partnered with Hug It Forward to support their direct action in communities like El Retiro, building “Bottle Schools”. Their work focuses on solving problems directly—in this case, a lack of educational opportunities. Because the community members are drawn together in the effort of building the school, and the material used is otherwise inorganic litter on the hillsides, the solutions that Bottle Schools provide are multifold.
The project in El Retiro provided both financial support as well as time and physical effort, while building positive human connections, especially with the kids who are so proudly building their own school. Charity Pot Employee Volunteer Programs (EVPs) like this provide opportunities for staff across the entire business to get involved in projects supported by Charity Pot. For many LUSH staff, EVPs are an amazing bonus to a job already full of perks!
Since 2009, Hug It Forward has finished 22 Bottle Schools; creating genuine educational opportunities for children and families in communities that otherwise struggle for basics. Hug It Forward believes oppo...