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October 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013

Having traveled with a group of 14 people from all across the U.S. to help in Nicaragua through El Porvenir, I have the highest regard for this NGO. It is significant they work with people in the rural areas of that amazing country to help those people better their lives. El Porvenir works in the best way to allow long term, lasting benefits for the people of Nicaragua. People of that country take ownership, maintenance, care, and passion for their own water supply, hygiene, reforestation, and cooperation. It's about neighbor helping neighbor. An amazing country to spend time in and learn about. Nicaraguans want the best possible for their families. Right now I am excited about going to work with El Porvenir for 9 days next month. I encourage more peope to go there.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

October 30, 2013

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2 previous reviews - show all
October 28, 2012

I have gone to Nicaragua to work with this group twice now, and both experiences have been so positive, I hope I can go again. The operation is based on the 'Habitat model,' with local communities co... more

October 30, 2013

I have been down to Nicaragua twice on work trips with this wonderful non-profit. There are three main things I love about El Porvenir. First, their projects of reforestation, hygiene, and clean water are driven by the local people who need these projects the most. It is not a case of norteamericanos swooping in to help the poor. So, there is a great local buy-in from the beginning, and pride in projects completed.
Second, the local people are grateful and gracious to all who help. The cross-cultural sharing is a great by-product of the work. Strong friendships and memories are made on work trips.
Third, the money donated is used wisely. Nicaraguans are the main staff within the country, and all donations are utilized to the utmost gain for the people who need clean water and a better standard of living the most.
I can't recommend El Porvenir enough, and talk to everyone I know about their work, both to encourage donations AND promote the fact that we are blessed with abundant clean water and hygiene, and should never take that for granted! Working with them has been the most important thing I have ever done with my life.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 28, 2012

I have gone to Nicaragua to work with this group twice now, and both experiences have been so positive, I hope I can go again. The operation is based on the 'Habitat model,' with local communities coming up with projects to provide water (wells), hygiene (latrines and handwashing stations), and community improvement (clothes washing stations & smoke-reducing ovens). A secondary focus is on reforestation. Rural communities (mostly poor) come up with the plan, a commitment to a % of the cost, and provide most of the sweat equity. Work brigades travel to Nicaragua with chaperones and interpreters, and assist in the building of projects, as they learn of Nicaraguan customs, food, and life. The first trip, I helped build latrines and a hand-washing station for a school which had no facilities before we came. This year, I helped build clothes-washing stations and a bathing cubicle for another village. I have told many people that my two trips have been the most important thing I have done in my 58 years.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 19, 2011

I am just home from a week long working trip to Nicaragua. Our small brigade of four worked in a village of 469 people, called Casas Viejas, up in the mountains to the west of Ciudad Dario. We helped install 3 latrines and a hand washing station for the village elementary school. Before, the children had to walk home to use the latrine and wash their hands, taking away class time. The kids LOVE to learn, and they hated missing any class time. El Porvenir gives the gift of better health through better sanitation. Families in small villages like Casas Viejas usually earn less than $5/day, so better health means less money spent on medicines.

A major reason I support El Porvenir is that the work projects are community-driven. The local people come up with a project and a plan, and must commit to labor and a % of the project's cost. This creates a buy-in of ownership and pride in the project. It's not about 'wealthy' Americans swooping in to 'rescue' Nicaraguans.
Our chaperones/translators were great, and worked right along with us. This NGO is a wonderful way to meet the local people, and make their lives better for generations. I hope I can go on another work brigade next year. I can NOT think of a better use of my vacation time.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing children excited that they would no longer have to miss any learning time due to having to walk home to use a latrine.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have known El Porvenir's work for about 10 years, and I can't think of anything I have seen that I would change.

October 30, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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October 30, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I first volunteered for an El Porvenir work vacation via Elderhostel (now Road Scholar). We elders constructed a lavandero, a laundry station in a poor rural community. We learned a lot and had so much fun in the process that our group volunteered together for several more times. The great thing is that all projects are interrelated, and each step follows logically - latrine construction with uphill reforestation and the making of fuel-saving stoves; lavandero construction after well construction; graywater treatment after lavandero construction.... All projects are requested by the local people, and education is provided by El Porvenir. Much of the "advertising" of El Porvenir is word of mouth from members of communities who have benefitted.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand services to the Atlantic Coast communities

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

February 28, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

Although it is small, El Porvenir is very effective. Each person that I have met on staff truly has a heart for the work that they do. Incredible organizations have incredible staff, board and volunteers. El Porvenir is incredible and the work that they do changes lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Hearing the personal stories of those whose lives were impacted by El Porvenir.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Of course, I wish that they had more funding to help them meet their goals even faster.

February 28, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 28, 2011

I volunteered with El Porvenir in 2001 was thoroughly impressed with the whole experience. It was great to get my hands dirty and feel a sense of camaraderie with the people I was working with - both Nicaraguan and American. The organization does great work and I am very happy that I was able to be associated with it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my outlook on life and my appreciation for all that I have.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not.

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

The gift of clean water cannot be over appreciated for impoverished communities in Nicaragua. I support El Porvenir's vision and recognition of their niche to support with their expertise and expanding within the abilities and financial support available. El Porvenir works with the community to define their needs and meet them. Truly unique in the non-profit field.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Several communities in Nicaragua. I lived in Guatemala and Southern Mexico and am not aware of any similar programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

love to see broader financial support

February 27, 2011

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February 27, 2011

Tell your story here and help others understand this charity. I helped construct the interior walls and top of a large tank for runoff waterl, dug by hand in hard packed clay, by two women in Boaca Viejo, Nicaragua. I helped their community build a lavandero, where they will be able to use clean well water for bathing and doing laundry. I learned new skills such as mixing concrete, cutting rebar, pouring concrete and applying mortar. I was able to work hard, side by side with the families who will be using the lavandero and feel that this experience gave me far more than I was able to give.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This has been one of the most heartwarming experiences of my life. I was able to do meaningful work for appreciative, hard working people, learn new skills and forge friendships that will last forever.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Start the work sooner after arrival in Nicaragua.

More feedback...

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I would have liked to start the work sooner on arrival in Nicaragua.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I learned many new skills and made many new friends, both in the rural community, in my group and with El Porvenir staff members.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Fabulously lucky.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 26, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 26, 2011

When others ask me what models they should study regarding community development in other countries, I tell them El Porvenir. They have the wisdom, the skill, the talent, the access to people with the technical knowledge and the country-based knowledge to figure out the best strategies that are going to have the most impact and lead to sustainable change. And, most important of all, they are truly "ground up" -- working with the community from beginning to end, responding to them, training them, being by their side, and avoiding solutions or decisions imposed or cooked up by "outsiders". The study/volunteer trip was an unforgettable experience.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Nicaragua

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I just want to them to be able to raise more money to have even deeper and wider impact in Nicaragua.

February 26, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 26, 2011

My church participates in conjunction with a nearby church in working with El Porvenir in Nicaragua. El Porvenier is a small non-profit working with volunteers to build projects in villages. Our group will be working to build a well and other facilities for villagers who have to walk hours to bring back water to the village. The improvements built under the El Porvenir plan also improve sanitation and health for the villagers. Very exciting, and I can't wait to go.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

going to presentations and listening to what people who have gone have said. Reading and conversation

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

So far I haven't seen any problems. More money would help.

February 26, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 26, 2011

El Porvenir provides volunteers with an opportunity to work in small villages, with the "mayor' and many of the village people in assessing the needs of the village, and then proceeding to solutions for them.
I worked in a village where there were no latrines. Each family in the village had
dug a huge hole behind their houses. The El Porvenir came in with us, the volunteers, to enclose the latrines with brick, along with help from the villagers themselves. We worked very hard, made many friends, and participated in meetings of the whole village, at night, where the importance of using latrines, and then washing hands were dramatized by some of the villagers. Low tech responses to needs is key to El Porvenir's work, as is needs coming from the villages themselves. El Porvenir's primary goal is to supply clean water to remote villages.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Near Camoapas, in the boon docks.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

simply try to get El Porvenir more funding.

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