pencils of promise hand washing station at guatemala school

Air Plant Shop x Pencils of Promise School Impact Timeline

6 comments by Jamie Beck

“La educación no cambia el mundo, cambia a las personas que van a cambiar el mundo.”

"Education does not change the world, it changes the people who are going to change the world."
– Paulo Freire 

October 2023: Shop for PoP – Giving Week Collaboration

For the first time ever, Air Plant Shop and Pencils of Promise joined forces for an entire week to raise funds for our Guatemalan School Fund. This initiative goes towards teacher support programs, student health initiatives and to build a fourth school in Guatemala! We pledged to donate 100% of that week's sales to PoP, aspiring to reach an ambitious goal of $50,000. Although we fell short of our target within the seven-day timeframe, we proudly decided to contribute the full amount as a testament to our commitment to education and community development in Guatemala.

air plant shop donation philanthropy pencils of promise



July 2022: PoP Third School Inauguration Ceremony - Linea B-6 Satelite

Our biggest school to date is completed! See all the festive inauguration photos in our photo blog.

children at inauguration ceremony


March 2022: PoP Third School Construction Update - Línea B-6 Satelite

Construction is well on its way at the Línea B-6 community – check out our photo story of the update!

construction guatemala pencils of promise school build

March 2022: More Photos from Cantón San José

PoP team members visited the Canton San Jose school during the same afternoon they were monitoring the construction process in the Línea B-6 community. Enjoy the photo story of the visit!

air plant shop pencils of promise construction education school guatemala

November 2021: PoP Third School Breaking Ground - Línea B-6 Satelite

Air Plant Shop has committed to build seven classrooms, a hand washing station, four new bathrooms, a well and septic tank to expand the school at the Línea B-6 community. See the breaking ground ceremony a this blog post.

November 2021: PoP Third School Location Announced - Línea B-6 Satelite

Air Plant Shop will be funding the largest project we've ever undertaken with PoP thus far in the rural community of Línea B-6 near La Maquina, Guatemala. The school will have seven classrooms, six restrooms and a handwashing station! Learn why we chose this community and watch PoP's video of the school grounds.

pencils of promise school guatemala Línea B-6 Satelite

September 2021: Scouting Locations for Our Third School 

We have continuously raised money this year and we are now working with PoP, again in the Boca Costa region, to find a community to construct the third Air Plant Shop school.

July 2021: PoP Second School Inauguration - Cantón San José

The additional classrooms in the Cantón San José community are now complete. See the inauguration photos on this blog post.

inauguration pencils of promise education school build

May 2021: PoP Second School Almost Complete - Cantón San José

We are well on the way to complete the two-unit classroom block in the coming weeks! Read more about the progress and photos on our recent blog post.

construction school guatemala education pencils of promise air plant shop

March 2021: PoP Second School Breaking Ground - Cantón San José

We are finally breaking ground on our second school. We are excited that there is movement in the school building process after a year of delays, restrictions and shortages due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

July 2020: Location Announced for Our Second School - Cantón San José

Air Plant Shop is pleased to announce the location of our second school project in Guatemala. We will be providing two additional classrooms to the community of Cantón San José in Suchitepéquez Department. Find pre-build photos and more information about Cantón San José on our full blog post.

pencils of promise school education guatemala Cantón San José

March 2020: Scouting Locations for Our Second School

After reaching the threshold to build our second school in mid 2019, Pencils of Promise (PoP) has been visiting rural communities in Guatemala to assess local need for improving education. The PoP team has narrowed it down to the Department of Suchitepéquez in the Boca Costa region of the country, which is a relatively short drive to Quetzaltenango, Pencils of Promise's Guatemalan headquarters. It is there hope that their close proximity of their main operations will facilitate efficiencies in school planning and administration in the region. We hope that we can announce our official ground-breaking soon! We hope you are as excited as we are. Thank you for helping us change lives!

Update August 2018: Visiting Our Pop School in Monte Maria

Three months after the official inauguration of the school, we sent Christian as Air Plant Shop representative to make the long journey to the Quiché department with the Pencils of Promise team. Christian was met with a joyful ceremony commemorating the construction of the building including dancing, sack races and beautiful marimba music. We made goody bags for every student. More than 300 pupils received a bag with a notebook, pencils, pencil sharpener, crayons and candies. In addition we donated a couple of soccer balls. Everyone loved it! Find more photos on our Gallery Page

Visting our School in Guatemala, August 2018

June 2018: Dedication & Grand Opening - Monte Maria

The four-classroom school has officially been completed! These additional classrooms will help with overcrowding in the community and serve pre-primary, first, second and fifth grade students. The children are elated to have new, clean environment conducive to learning. Thank you to all of our customers who have helped make this happen. 

There is so much new space to learn in big, bright classrooms.

The Quiché region of Guatemala is primarily made up of indigenous Maya communities. Below, children celebrate the dedication of the new school with a traditional ceremony. 

During the dedication, a boy leads in singing the national anthem of Guatemala.

Students happily washing their hands at the new lavamanos (hand washing area). Air Plant Shop proudly supports the Pencils of Promise WASH program which educates youngsters about health and sanitation.

April 2018: Construction Progress - Monte Maria

Construction continues on the school in Aldea Rosario Monte Maria.

Air Plant Shop School in Quiche, Guatemala

Air Plant Shop School in Quiche, Guatemala

January 2018: Paired with a Community - Monte Maria

We have been officially paired with the rural community of Aldea Rosario Monte Maria in the Quiché region in Northwestern Guatemala for our first school build. Currently, the community has a school with six formal classrooms and four provisional classrooms made out of wood and dirt floors. Because of the large number of students, these classrooms are experiencing overcrowding, as well additional structural safety hazards. These conditions pose a hazard to student safety and well being as well as engagement and learning.

The additional classrooms will help with overcrowding and will serve pre-primary, first, second and fifth grade students. Teachers, parents and community members are dedicated and committed to the project, and will contribute up to 20 percent of resources and labor necessary to complete the build. The project should be completed by the fall of 2018. Additional donations are going towards our second school build.

Today, many students in Aldea Rosario Monte Maria attend classes in poorly-constructed provisional buildings, however, their eagerness to learn is unwavering.

Update August 2017: We've met Our Goal!

We are going to build a school in Guatemala completely funded by your air plant orders. During the next several months, Pencils of Promise will pair us with a rural community in Guatemala. Once the they choose the site, the school will be completed in 3-5 months. We won't stop here. We are on-track to have enough money funded for a second school build within 10 months. In addition, we are donating an additional $1,000 dollars a month to Pencil of Promise's Passport and Wash programs, which train teachers and teach young people about sanitation and nutrition.

Thank you for letting us reach our goal one month earlier than anticipated.

- The Air Plant Shop Team

July 2016: We're Teaming Up with Pencils of Promise

Throughout the developing world, disadvantaged children struggle to become educated due to lack of schools, limited community support organizations, and lack of governmental funding. To make a difference, will donate $1.00 of every order to support Pencils of Promise, an international non-profit organization that funds schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal that everyone should have the opportunity to receive a quality education.

They say if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime. That is exactly what Pencils of Promise does in the communities they serve. Pencils of Promise build schools, pays teachers, provides private scholarships for secondary education, and support community programs covering topics like water purification, nutrition, and sanitation.

Pencils of Promise has a track record of supporting communities that require the most help and maintaining a long-lasting relationship. Yearly studies show that students of Pencils of Promise schools are more literate and educationally-focused than other children in the countries. They have a proven track record of building educational foundations in the communities that last and we are proud to support their efforts.

Why Pencils of Promise?


  • 100% of your donation will go directly to building a school
  • Funding for administration is raised separately
  • Proven track record of building schools and maintaining staff indefinitely after completion of the building
  • Every school built by Pencils of Promise is operational today
  • Create long-lasting relationships within the communities they serve
  • They work fast. Pencils of Promise breaks ground on a new school every 5 days

$1 from every order on any of our brands will be donated

Air Plant Shop Air Plant Shop on Etsy Air Plant Shop on Amazon


  • Jayne

    It is incredible the impact the education is making on these young children, including health and sanitation issues. Keep up the good work!

  • Migdalia Pena

    Great job!!! I really enjoying my air plants. Soon I will post pictures. Keep up the good work!!!

  • Judith C Dunham

    What a great thing you are doing! I applaud you and all the people who work with you . Is this a religious project or strictly secular? JD

  • Joanne Beck

    I went to Guatemala last year on a service trip for social workers. We went to Antigua and to Santiago. I fell in love with the people there. They are working so hard. I wondered how well the children eat at your school. So many children are hungry. I have been involved with a place called the Backyard School near Antigua. A woman started this school so that children and parents (mostly mothers) would have a place to come learn social skills and life skills. Another is Nuevo Reto a youth training program for working skill acquisition.So many places need sanitation like toilets-and septic systems that will not allow water tables to become polluted by human waste. But I know you know this. I just wanted to share what I have been doing in Guatemala along with other Gringos like you who work to help the people of Guatemala help themselves and create positive change for their country.

  • Jean

    I went to Guatemala a few years ago with my school and volunteered to teach English. I took up a collection of school supplies and clothing to donate. I loved the experience and would love to go back again. This is great what you all are doing for these communities.

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