El Porvenir

Rating: 4.93 stars   101 reviews

Issues: Environment, International, Economic Development

Location: 10955 Westmoor Dr. Suite 400 Westminster CO 80021 USA

Mission: El Porvenir assists rural Nicaraguan communities to improve their living standards through sustainable development in clean water, sanitation, reforestation, and health education.
Programs: Helping rural Nicaraguan communities build wells, gravity flow water systems and latrines.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My husband, Doug Beaman, and I went to Nicaragua with El Porvenir and helped to build a water well for a small village and an elementary school near El Saulse. We have talked to hundreds of people about the value of volunteering with the wonderful organization of El Porvenir to help the amazing people of Nicaragua. The people in the village worked so hard to build this well. We were happy that our team could fill in for about ten villagers who could continue with their regular farming and jobs on the days we worked. After graduating high school two years ago our grandson, Matt Beaman, who had heard our stories, also went with El Porvenir to do reforestation in Nicaragua. He loved it as much as we did! My favorite memory is of the poetry written by the Nicaraguan people in celebration of their new well!! Chyril Turner

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

I would not change anything!

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?

2003

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My trip to Nicaragua with El Porvenir was marvelous! It was exciting to see communities working together with third-world technology to improve their health, nutrition and the environment with very simple tools. Perhaps, we in the US could take some lessons from these dear people. I hope I can go again in some capacity.

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

Seek to implement some of their strategies elsewhere on the planet.

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?

A lot

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?

2010

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I found El Porvenir to be a top-notch organization. They were well organized, friendly and clear about their mission. I participated in a week-long build of a laundry station [a laundry tray/wash board with a small attached water reservoir] and an enclosed shower. Previous builds had produced an outhouse and a water well, both of which were well maintained. They had safe water to drink and cook.
The people who were receiving these items worked side by side with us, and much harder than we could physically. They had already dug a large hole to become a storage tank for the used water, so it would seep slowly through the soil back into the water table. Previously the families had used fields as toilets and washed clothes and their bodies in the local stream, which polluted the water. Our families had already started the next phase of El Porvenir's mission: planting 4000 to prevent erosion and hold the water in the ground instead of flooding away during heavy rains.

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

It's been two years and I haven't thought of one. We worked hard, but had adequate time to rest and drink water and eat snacks morning and afternoon and a hot lunch each noon cooked by the families that would use the laundry and shower. At dinner we went to a local restaurant for a typical local dinner. There was plenty of food and several dishes included. The last Saturday we could go on a ropes course.

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

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

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.

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Expand services to the Atlantic Coast communities

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

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

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.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

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

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

not.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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

love to see broader financial support

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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.

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

Start the work sooner after arrival in Nicaragua.

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

 
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