The Project Somos Children’s Village is located in the small community of Chivarabal, just outside of Tecpán, Guatemala.
There are currently two completed three-family homes, with room for up to three families in each with plans to build five more.
The Village also includes a beautiful Community Hall, an organic farm, dorm rooms for volunteers, a staff building, a preschool, a soccer field, and a vibrant playground.
The large Community Hall is used for gatherings for the mothers and children, as well as for our volunteer groups, and is rented out for events as a social enterprise to support the Village.
The family homes, Community Hall and staff housing were designed by Guatemalan architect Cecilia Rodriguez to have an inherent beauty and harmony, with beautiful colors and with attractive design touches – something which we believe is essential to healing.
The Village is built to be eco-sustainable, with solar energy, rainwater capture, grey water recycling, earthbag construction and interior walls based on eco-bricks. Eco-bricks are plastic bottles stuffed with plastic trash. At one point nearly 7,000 Guatemalan school children were out “de-littering” Guatemalan roadways, gathering discarded bottles and bags for Somos eco-bricks!
Permaculture is incorporated into all the design features of the Village, and organic agriculture – a budding social enterprise – helps provide food for the families. Fruits and vegetables in and around the Village are grown and consumed by the families.
Founders Greg Kemp and Heather Knox manage the Village in collaboration with Mayan leader, Antolin Gonzales. Local Guatemalans are employed for all construction, catering of groups, volunteer management, accounting, preschool, and support for the mamas and children. Learn more about the local community.
The long-term vision is for the Project to be run by Guatemalans as Compassion Fruit Society scales the Village to other locations.