“Long Way Home began operations in the municipality of San Juan Comalapa, in the indigenous highlands of west-central Guatemala in 2004, with a grassroots community development strategy to bring local residents together to learn about eco-friendly living, appropriate sustainable technologies, and improved waste management solutions.” – Our Story, Long Way Home
TeamBonding began its partnership with Long Way Home in 2015, as the recipient charity for our Paint Soles for Souls program. In case you don’t know much about this program, participants compete to design and paint shoes and tote bags, which we then distribute through Long Way Home. The kids get their first pick of the shoes, and then the rest are distributed throughout the rest of the San Juan Comalapa community.
Long Way Home is all about community. Since they formed, they have built a park for their area, as well as a full school complex containing an elementary, middle, and vocational school. The most impressive part? All of the buildings are made of post-consumer products. The concept of using materials normally considered to be trash has the potential to have a huge environmental impact.
Environmental responsibility is one of the cornerstones of this organization, and as such is hugely emphasized within the school itself. As a part of the curriculum, “young Comalapans will be learning responsible stewardship of local ecology through their coursework.” Student gardens provide fresh, sustainably grown food for the students, as well as being sold to generate additional revenue for the projects.
Long Way Home operates around a couple core beliefs:
- Every person has a responsibility to fight poverty;
- We learn by doing and lead by example;
- Ethical and responsible financial management lead to higher impact;
- Learning is a lifelong process and flows in both directions, from us to our partner communities and from our partner communities to us;
- The future of the planet is affected by our daily decisions;
- There are leaders in all of us.
The project helps provide economic grown in the San Juan Comalapa community as well, by creating jobs in the form of construction workers and teachers. To learn more about this great organization, check out their website.
And to get involved, book a Paint Soles for Souls event for your team!