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February 17, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 17, 2011

I have been on two work trips, in 2005 and 2009. Accommodations are basic in a very poor country like Nicaragua, but we were always well-fed and safely housed. Volunteers assist in building wells, latrines, or wash stations. Handyman skills are not required, and all tools and supplies are provided. I find the work to be enjoyable and personally rewarding. The groups I've been on were very friendly and enjoyed socializing at the hotel each evening. We work hard and accomplish a lot in just a week. A couple of additional days are spent sightseeing and doing cultural excursions. These too are fun and enlightening. I've seen the sea, lakes, volcanos, markets, museums, and more. I strongly support El Porvenir and have become a regular donor and board member as well.

The Great!

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

I've seen how grateful and enthusiastic the Nicaragua community members are about getting assistance in obtaining a lined well, latrines, and wash stations. They put in hundreds of hours of physical labor to help their own communities, and they sincerely appreciate the assistance of visitors. I've heard community members talk about the dignity of finally having a solid, lined latrine to use, rather than going behind a bush or risking a rickety and smelly old latrine.

Ways to make it better...

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

spread the word more!

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I led a mission team for our church to work with El Porvenir last summer. It was a truly fantastic experience, and a very easy decision to lead another team to work with them again this summer. Key reasons:

1. Their development model works. Local communities come to them with a desire
for a project and the El Porvenir and the community work in partnership every step of the way. The combination of community sweat equity + education + ongoing support means that the projects have a lasting impact on community health and pride. This is work that matters... and most projects are fully Nicaragua-owned.

2. Their brigade coordinator was extremely helpful as we got our team organized. They were responsive to our interests and needs, and put together a fantastic program tailored to our team.

3. They are fantastic hosts. The El Porvenir staff did everything possible to make the experience a positive one for our team. The focused on our health and safety. They ensured that we were able to have a positive experience at the worksite - that we knew what work needed to be done and trained us how to do it and also (and even more importantly) helped us connect with the community. They added educational components to help make the experience more meaningful, from a lecture on Nicaraguan history, to visiting a school to touring a local health clinic.

This was the first international mission experience our church had had in a long time. It was an extraordinarily easy to make the decision to lead another team next year. I hope I will have the opportunity to work for El Porvenir for many years to come.

The Great!

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

Providing safe, clean water to Nicaraguans

Ways to make it better...

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

Clone our hosts, Jimmy and Catalina

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I spent a week on a Brigade helping a small village build a lavandero, near the well that El Porvenir helped them to build. It was a life changing experience for me. I had traveled in under-developed countries before, but never had been able to personally get to know the people and see how they live in their homes. The need is so great there, the people so wonderful, and El Porvenir does an outstanding job of working volunteers. Though originally I had thought the Brigade was expensive for participant, I came home knowing it was some of the best spent money in my life.

The Great!

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

the way it has improved the health and quality of life for rurual citizens of Nicaragua - the health of all, and the quality of life especially for the women and children.

Ways to make it better...

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

can't think of a thing, other than to receive more donations, in order to help more Nicaraguans!

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?

2010

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

Have been to Nicaragua 4 times to work on reforestation and sanitation projects. One of the highlites of my life. So much has to be done, but a lot statrs with clean water. It really makes a difference in peoples lives as seen by the helping hand they gave us and the smiles and tears at the completion of the work. Hope to go back again.
Calvin

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...

Encourage it to do even more.

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

Nicaragua is said to be the 2nd poorest country in the hemisphere. After a nine day vol experience at a remote village with homes made of thin adobe near Dario, Nic, I dont believe it. Maybe they didnt have much money but the children were happy, bright and healthy. The cows were fat, horses and chickens were fit but the dogs showed their ribs. The people gave us four volunteers a fiesta after we helped them plumb and build a handwash station and erect three new latrines. About 150 of them gathered at the school to watch musicians, dancers and hear poetry. They gave speeches that made us feel appreciated and ripped apart a fat pinata full of candy. El Porvenir delivers over 90% of donations directly to the people. Ive seen their offices and there are no comfortable chairs.....Robert Burnett

The Great!

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

El Sauce, Nica, 2010 and at Dario, Nica in Feb 2011

Ways to make it better...

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

They are pretty good all the way across the board.

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I have worked on 3 different projects with El Porvenir in the past. The solutions that they help to bring to the communities is life-changing. Where there was no clean water, wells were built, re-forestation was undertaken, latrines were built, and facilities for washing and bathing were constructed. The villages now have an incredible different look. Clean & healthy is the order of the day. And there is a pride that the people have with themselves and there neighbors. This is a most important organization & the work they do is responsible financially and effective

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...

Nothing..it is incredibly well run & effective

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I volunteered with El Porvenir last March in a rural town in Nicaragua. It was an unbelievable experience -- we helped to build a clean water facility for the village, which has made their lives so much easier! We also had the chance to play with the children in the town; I have never seen so many happy and beautiful and friendly children in my life! Thank you El Porvenir for this extraordinary opportunity.

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...

Make it more well-known.

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I worked with a ElPorvenir brigade in 2003 building a new well, washing stall and two "lavanderias"and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. Most Americans cannot imagine this small village whose only water for bathing and washing clothes was a polluted, dirty river. Fresh water for drinking and cooking had been brought by someone on horseback who carried a 5 gallon jug back from a source a few miles away. After our project was finished they had fresh clean water, a stall in which they could take a bucket of water and wash themselves and concrete wash tubs for washing clothes.
This project made life so much happier, easier and more dignified. It was a joy working alongside the villagers. ElPorvir accomplishes an amazing amount using every penny they receive.

The Great!

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

Later I visited three other ElPorvenir projects and was equally impressed.

Ways to make it better...

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

can't think of anything. They are doing an amazing job.

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

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

Nothing. They made sure our meals were prepared in sanitary conditions and we all stayed well.

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

I learned sometihng about construction and loved being with the villagers and co-workers. .

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Very grateful for the luxuries I take for granted.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

In 1992 as part of a work brigade in Nicaragua for Habitat for Humanity, I had the opportunity to visit several of El Porvenir's early projects. When I came back I connected with the "friends" group in Colorado and have voluteered on different levels over the years. In 2002 I had a chance to do a work brigade again, but this time for EP. The enthusiasm of the people there is contageous. They are thrilled to be getting help to better their community. The work brigades are really a reverse mission as the locals demonstrate to the North Americans how to work hard and still enjoy the simple things in life. It's more like a work party. Everyone is excited to be putting their sweat equity into their community.

The EP staff in Nicaragua and in the US are knowledgeable and passionate about their work. It's a basic need. Without clean, safe water not much else is possible.

The Great!

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

working in Nicaragua.

Ways to make it better...

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

Hound people like myself to get out there and do a better job of spreading the word. Staff can only do so much without committed volunteers.

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?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

One of my greatest experiences where I realized how much appreciated El Porvenir's work is by the villagers, was when I helped build a latrine for a very elderly lady. She sat in a chair and watched us the whole time with the largest smile you have ever seen on her face showing only a few teeth. She had a small, one room, dirt floor, patched together house with a small back yard that had a barbed wire fence keeping the animals out. I tried to imagine what it was like for this woman to be ducking through a barbed wire fence for the last 60 years and using the field as her bathroom with no privacy. I wondered what was going through her mind as she saw that she was about to actually receive a latrine that she could enter, privately close the door and sit down, on the same side of the barbed wire fence that she had been squeezing through all these years. My experiences with El Porvenir are both Volunteer and Client Served. I volunteer at home in Denver, CO and I have been on many work brigades ranging from planting trees, building latrines, building stoves, well construction, and building a washing facility. All projects are focused on El Porvenir's goal of clean water for the people of Nicaragua. I have gotten to know all the different personnel of El Porvenir which is a grass roots organization that doesn't waste your money. They work hard, are dedicated and run with very little overhead as a percentage of their budget. I have also researched and participated in other organization's work brigades in the past and I can say for a fact that El Porvenir has a model that is making a difference for the rural poor people of Nicaragua that have genuine need. El Porvenir has offices (a one room small rural town office) in a bunch of rural poor towns that are surrounded by people with need. These are the rocky, dry areas of Nicaragua where the land is not very good and it is very hard to farm. The people come into the office and apply for a project and El Porvenir prioritizes the projects, performs the projects, trains the people, and follows up later. Many organizations simply leave town when they think their job is done. El Porvenir provides a motorcross style motorbike to the rural offices so the El Porvenir personnel can get to these people. The El Porvenir personnel are Nicaraguans as well, so El Porvenir is providing jobs as well to these rural poor towns. I can say in all honesty that if you want to help and give your support to the less fortunate people of the world, then El Porvenir is a great way to do it.

The Great!

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

Camoapa, Ruben Dario, El Sauce, Boaco, Bario Nuevo, La Montanita All in Nicaragua

Ways to make it better...

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

Create a presence in other Countries. El Porvenir only does work in rural Nicaragua.

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