Puerto Rico | In action since 2006
Bottle of Hope
Three years ago, when students from the Enactus team at the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon learned about an impoverished community in the Dominican Republic, they knew they could provide a holistic solution. They started by addressing the lack of housing, partnering with engineering and construction experts to explore design options, and finally deciding to use plastic bottles as the main construction material. Future residents have been engaged in the process, building pride for and engagement in their new community. This year, four houses were built by residents, as well as a multi-functional community center. Their main focus this year has been addressing employment and income issues: the team worked with residents to start four new ventures, resulting in 26 new jobs and a revenue increase of more than $45,000. The team is on track to have the new community fully operational and sustainable by the end of 2017, with the long term goal of bringing this model to communities in need in other countries, starting in Puerto Rico.
Proudest moment of the past year:
When we completed the construction of the Community Center for the Hope, Love and Peace Community
Biggest challenge from the past year:
The pressure of being last year’s national champion and showing how we used the World Cup experience to improve our projects and achieve greater impact
How they're preparing for the WC:
We are practicing five days a week, more than 20 hours weekly, and setting up practice presentations with eight companies
They're most excited about:
Connecting with other teams, receiving valuable feedback from the judges, and sharing best practices with the best teams from around the world
Team described in one word:
As the team’s President, Giliannie brings the experiences from her three years of involvement to the group as well as her passion for making a difference. She was originally inspired to get involved when the Bottle of Hope project was launched: the idea of building houses from plastic bottles inspired her and she wanted to have that kind of lasting, sustainable impact on the world. Some of the highlights of her Enactus career to date have been winning the National Competition two years in a row and having the honor of representing their country and their work on the global stage. At World Cup this year, she is excited to connect and share ideas with people from around the world.
More about Giliannie:
Connect with Giliannie:
When Héctor started university, there was no question he was going to join the Enactus team: his mother is the faculty advisor! But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy or he’s gotten special treatment: he faced a significant challenge a few years ago when nearly every team member graduated, leaving him and his friend to maintain and rebuild the team. Thanks to their leadership and vision, they recruited new members, developed new initiatives, and led the team to win the national championship twice. As they prepare to travel to Toronto for the Enactus World Cup, he’s looking forward to meeting new friends and having new experiences that will help him grow personally and professionally.
More about Héctor:
Connect with Héctor: