Lifetouch Celebrates More Than 20 Years of Memory Missions By Building a School in Guatemala Out of Recycled Plastic Bottles

Lifetime Memory Missions

Educators and Employees from Across North America will Participate in the Trip from January 18 – 25

(Eden Prairie, MN) — Nov. 10, 2022  — Lifetouch, a leader in professional photography for schools and families, is celebrating more than 20 years of Memory Missions by bringing a team of volunteers to Guatemala where they will help build a more environmentally responsible school out of plastic bottles. The trip takes place from January 18 to 25, 2023.

Since 2000 the Lifetouch Memory Mission has been serving children, families, and communities around the world. The philanthropic initiative enables company employees and national education partners to travel worldwide to provide intensive volunteer services. Past mission trips have included helping to rebuild a village in war-torn Kosovo, repairing homes in Appalachia, establishing a children’s center in Jamaica, and constructing a bridge in the land of the Navajo in Arizona. Memory Mission volunteers have also built thirteen schools across Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This year’s trip will include nearly 40 volunteers consisting of educators, Lifetouch employees and executives from across the country. More than 500 volunteers have devoted over 100,000 hours to Lifetouch Memory Mission projects.


A Partnership with Hug It Forward

Lifetouch is partnering with Guatemala-based Hug It Forward and the local community to build a school consisting of “bottle classrooms.” Hug It Forward has been building educational infrastructures using plastic bottles stuffed with inorganic trash or eco-bricks since 2009. Bottle classrooms are built using the established method of post-and-beam construction. The foundations, columns, and beams are made from concrete reinforced with iron rebar. Instead of cinder blocks, the eco-bricks are used to fill the wall. The schools are expected to last 100 years.

“For more than two decades Lifetouch has sent crews of educators and employees to remote areas of the world to build stronger, more resilient communities,” said Jan Haeg, Community Relations Manager at Lifetouch. “This effort is especially exciting because with the help of Hug It Forward and members of the community we will be working side-by-side to build an eco-friendly structure that will house students for decades to come and we are doing it with a network of educators and employees who really care about giving back.”

First-Ever Personal Portrait Day for Students

In addition to building the school, volunteers will also take personal portraits of the community’s K-6th grade school children. The photos will be delivered in person on the last day of the mission trip. These photos will be the first-ever portraits taken within this community.

For more information on the Mission, volunteers or a gallery of photographs visit Lifetouch Memory Mission.

Lifetouch is celebrating more than 20 years of Memory Missions by leading a team of educators, employees and executives to Guatemala to help build a school out of recycled plastic bottles. Lifetouch is partnering with Guatemala-based Hug It Forward and the local community to build the school.


About Lifetouch

At Lifetouch, our purpose is to help families capture life’s memories. For more than 80 years, Lifetouch has been the professional photography company of choice for schools and families. Located in Eden Prairie, MN, the company operates in local communities across North America.

Built on the tradition of “Picture Day”, Lifetouch captures smiling faces from preschool through high school graduation, as well as sports, special events, seniors and yearbooks; and also serves customers in JCPenney Portraits.

Lifetouch is proud to be a part of the Shutterfly family of brands.

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