Local tour company, Tiger Trail Travel promotes sustainable building by making a reality the first clay school in a remote village in Laos
18 June 2012, Luang Prabang, Laos. With the help of hundreds of hands and a lot of donations, Tiger Trail Outdoor Adventures & their Fair Trek team successfully built a clay school in the remote village of Ban Naluang. It began from a familiar request from a village chief in a remote village: “We would like a school for the children of our village.” From this arose a grand and out of the ordinary undertaking that took nearly a year to complete. The primary school, which was built from the dirt beside it, had its grand opening on 7 April of this year.
The Fair Trek team initiated construction of the Clay School in July of 2011. After the cement foundation and columns were poured, volunteer groups arrived in the village to work alongside the villagers to construct the roof (wood and bamboo) and of course to make the mud bricks to build the mud rooms. The mud bricks were laboriously formed from dirt, sand, straw, and water. An estimated 6000 bricks were made and plastered together to construct the walls of the school.
Local media attention has stirred curiosity and new settlers into the village of Ban Naluang. The village is located 90 km north of Luang Prabang, and set amongst gorgeous karst, limestone, mountains. Views of lush forest and active rice fields line the dirt road to Ban Naluang. And now a critical part of the view is the clay school! The villagers, especially the children are proud of their new school and its uniqueness.
Since 2000 Tiger Trail Outdoor Adventures Laos operates as one of the first travel pioneers in Laos. Tiger Trail founded Fair Trek in 2007 as an innovative community based tourism project aiming to assist in development of communities in need. In return, it allows visitors to have access to remote villages by trekking, biking and kayaking, to learn and absorb different cultural experiences in Laos. Fair Trek is the first responsible tourism project in Luang Prabang, and has been recognized widely as an example of community-based responsible tourism in the Mekong sub-region.