The tire walls are now half way complete!  Over the past two weeks we have formed and poured all four concrete doors. We are working on the 8th course, and the tires are even higher adjacent to the doors.  The rainy season has just begun so we’re working hard to get the rest of the tires up as quick as possible.  Horizontal rebar (solera) was laid above the 7th course to prevent shear movement between the courses.  This only helps during construction, once the walls are complete the concrete bond beam will be working against the shear movement.

Now that the rain is here we have also connected the rain water collection system.  Rain falls on the roofs, is collected in the canals between the arches, directed into openings in the awning at the back, and then travels through tubes to the tank.  When it  rained 2 inches the other night the tank collected 11 inches of water!  The tank can hold approximately400 times this amount – bring on the rain.  Since it has only been collecting for a few days the water needs to build up a little more before it will come out of the taps.  But pretty soon we will have water on demand to use for everything except drinking. 

We continue to improve the drainage at the site to make sure all the rain water we can’t collect on the roof moves where it should.  And have also been patching and repairing areas on the roof to improve its waterproofness.  A pit has been dug as a holding area for our much loved lime.   Still working on getting enough bottles for the next glass brick facade.  Looking ahead to building the central bodega – between the two sets of workshops  – out of Earthbags and possibly glass bottles as well.  Aaron helped Chumi Tinamit give a presentation to the Guatemalan foundation that has been funding much of the construction for the past 8 months, explaining how exactly the money has been spent and the impact it has had on the progress of the school.  And an architectural model of the entire site and all the buildings was started – so far only the terrain has been assembled.

So, what did you do the week after you finished high school? Jake, Cameron and Alec spent their first week of post-high school freedom volunteering with us!  They helped in all facets of construction, even finishing the lower course of the retaining wall buttress. Thanks for all your help.  Have a week so spare? Why not come spend it building the Escuela Tecnico Maya?!

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