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.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
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.
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.
Volunteer & Helped construct latrines and a hand washing station at a rural elementary school.
Review from Guidestar