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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

El Porvenir

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Environment, International, International Agricultural Development, International Development, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

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.

Community Stories

125 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

sfbigcelt

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a financial supporter of El Porvenir for several years before I got to go down to Nicaragua with a work project. I've been down four times so far and am planning another work trip in 2020. I feel my work with EP is probably the most important thing I've ever done with the 65 years on the planet. The staff are totally focused on fostering relationships between those who go down to work, and those in the local community where the projects happen. It is this focus, which puts EP in a league above. Workers are well fed, kept safe, and encouraged to ask questions about what we're doing and the history of the community. I've been impressed by the local staff, interpreters, drivers, and US-based staff. If you want to make a real difference in the world, volunteer for El Porvenir!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our son was fortunate enough to work with El Porvenir during a spring break trip to Nicaragua a few years ago. As parents, we were concerned with his safety; what food he would eat; and unsure what kind of experience he would have during his first trip abroad without us. We were totally blown away by his stories of working alongside families in a small community; his new appreciation for taking high school Spanish; the fun he had exploring the country; and the food he discovered (he came home with a new found love of all things rice, beans and fresh fruit). He would love to return to Nicaragua again some day and visit the families that he grew so close to. Thank you, El Provenir, for taking such good care and sharing your country with him.

Lenne S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year I had the amazing opportunity to spend 3,5 months with El Porvenir as part of an internship for my studies. It has been a great opportunity to see the organisation, its lovely and caring people and the great work they do from up close. One of the tasks I’ve have helped with was comparing the drinking water and sanitation situation in communities with and without the presence of El Porvenir in the department of Terrabona, and the communities with the presence of El Porvenir had significantly more access to clean drinking water and sanitation. Therefore I can wholeheartedly say that I would recommend El Porvenir and the amazing work they do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have partnered with El Porvenir for over 10 years and they are a model non-profit. We work with a lot of non-profit organizations around the world and El Porvenir is one of the best. They understand the importance of holistic development and working "with" instead of "for" local communities to ensure sustainable solutions that meet real needs. Additionally, they place a high value on safety of their volunteers and staff. The staff of El Porvenir is professional, trustworthy and a real joy to partner with. They receive my highest rating!

Mike Giancola, North Carolina State University

Quinta A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As a organization that has partnered with El Porvenir, we had the opportunity and the privilege to participate in a variety of projects. Among these were clean water, latrines, efficient wood stoves and reforestation. Most encouraging about theses type of projects is that they provide benefits that last for many years. Apart from the obvious health benefits that these projects make, evidence shows that they have a positive economic impact on the lives of the individuals.
I fully commend the work of El Porvenir.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

El Porvenir is amazing. When a work group was wanting to participate in a volunteer trip in Nicaragua, we thankfully connected with El Porvenir. From the beginning, they were very accommodating and worked with us to develop a trip tjat was both meeded by a community whilst utilizing our skillset and considering our goals. Their wonderful staff and partners took such great care of our group, ensuring that we were able to enjoy tourist activities while working hard to constuct a handsink for a rural elementary school - and at a very reasonable cost. I will be back to work with them for sure!

Jeffrey D.1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been supporters of El Porvenir for more than ten years. Their programs are so important to the people of Nicaragua. Bringing access to clean water and sanitation, healthy cooking and reforestation lay the groundwork for dignity and health, especially for women and children. Over the years EP has expanded their scope and always takes a holistic approach to development. We reccomend them wholeheartedly and applaud the work they do every day.

Clarob

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have gone to Niaragua twice with El Porvenir. They do a fantastic job of taking care of the work teams and helping us get the full experience of Nicaraguan life. I helped build showers and stoves. I appreciated the fact that the construction teams were led by Nicarguans and we had translators to understand our tasks. This is an agency that invites people to work alongside local leaders. Not come in and boss everyone around.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

El Porvenir models how to support people and communities to improve their own circumstances. The projects are initiated by the community and El Porvenir supports their plans with volunteers and supplies. They work with people rather than impose their own goals on them. This partnership makes it an affirming experience for everyone involved. I will go again soon.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our Rotary Club worked with El Porvenir in Camoapa two years in a row in person and via a fundraising effort this year. I can't say enough positive things about this amazing nonprofit. The staff is dedicated and the model of community involvement that is used by El Porvenir really works.

Sandra A. C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having worked with El Porvenir for that past five years I can without a doubt rate them as far exceeding expectations. El Porvenir has partnered with Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield, MA to serve several villages in Nicaragua. El Porvenir's commitment to empowering people in rural communities is evident in that they wait for an invitation from community leaders instead of imposing upon a community. Fuel efficient stoves, wells, reforestation, latrines and health lessons provide key components to ensure a healthy environment for thousands of Nicaraguans.

1 RodWins

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate enough to work with El Porvenir now two times as a faculty adviser for NC State University students during their Alternative Service Break. And in all my experiences, there has never been anything greater than what I shared with El Porvenir. As far as I’m concerned, the good works performed by this group are unparalleled. Our teams always felt safe in our travels; well fed and cared for; given so much pride in our workmanship; shown an immense amount of appreciation and love for our work in the community; and always treated like a part of their family. And now with the current political climate, the wonderful people of Nica need El Porvenir’s efforts even more. They deserve lives filled with clean water, good sanitation and ample forests. I wish I could spend a week every year with El Porvenir as there is nothing more satisfying than working alongside their awesome staff and experiencing the wonders of Nicaragua. To the future!

Carol Atwell

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have participated In 8 trips which included latrine building, well rehab, tree planting, health education, and stove building. The people of Nicaragua worked cheerfully and hard right along with us. The beautiful country and beautiful people will forever be in my heart. Part of which is still in Nicaragua.
Carol Atwell and Phil Lenko

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled to Nicaragua 3 times to work on water projects. I love that El Porvenir requires community participation. There is so much pride involved when people have a personal investment. My children don't a buy me presents for Holidays anymore. They donate to El Porvenir in my honor.

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Dawn L.4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We visited two of El Porvenir's project sites in Nicaragua last year and came away profoundly impressed with the way this organization is deeply imbedded in the communities. We have stayed in touch "from afar" since then and while (overall) the nation has sadly spiraled into political chaos, EP has succeeded in maintaining critical services and even moved forward with implementation of its vision. I believe that is the strongest testament there can be, that lifesaving services continue despite the dreadful politics. Finances are transparent, dedication is deep and lasting. My resources are limited and yet whenever I can, I direct aid to this fine organization

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife and I became acquainted with El Porvenir nearly twenty years ago. We later went on a work trip to help build a lavandero and a leeching pit. We were so impressed with the commitment of the staff and the local communities that we have been regular donors ever since. This is a truly remarkable non profit, with a wonderful vision of providing safe drinking water and clean facilities to rural communities in Nicaragua.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on 2 El Porvenir work trips and know thatI learned much more about this beautiful country and its people than if I had gone on a tourist type vacation .
I first went to a small rural village to help build a washing and shower station. The young men in the village pitched in and did most of the heavy work,cleaning out a well and digging a deep hole for the gray water from the showers.
On the next trip I helped with a resforestation project. On both of these projects I was impressed by how much work the young men did and even the children bringing water as digging holes for the little trees. Thewomen of the villages cooked delicious lunches for us. We all felt welcome.
El Porvenir made sure we had nice accommodations and traditional, but very nutritious local food.
I highly recommend the organization for anyone who desires to be more than a regular tourist. It was gratifying to know we provided deserving people with something they needed. And one of the best moments was having a piñata party for the kids in the village plus,course, meeting people from all over who enjoy helping others.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have partnered with El Porvenir for over 10 years in several of the communities that we call on with the Amanecer Mobile Health Clinic. It became evident early in our community visits that it was necessary to get to the root of the problems in the communities rather than just hand out medications to treat symptoms. After partnering with El Porvenir, we were able to document dramatic decreases in many diseases due to the holistic approach that El Porvenir takes in solving health problems. Clean water, latrines, reforestation, stoves and education supplied by El Porvenir has significantly changed the lives of thousands of people and given them hope for "the future". A great organization staffed with caring, dedicated people.

Susan S.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How much do I believe in the work of El Porvenir? My husband and I have been on two different work projects in the last three years. I have solicited addition grant money to support one of the most worthwhile, well-run organizations I've ever seen. We joke that we are 'getting women out of the river' and 'the fish like it too'.

Our picture here is from Playa Gigante, a place we have come to love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

El Porvenir is an exemplary non-profit. It's a lean organization, working with minimal staff most of whom live in Nicaragua. It has stayed faithful to its goal of potable water for rural Nicaragua. I have been on about 6 trips with them, helping with wells, washing stations, showers, latrines and also reforestation. Well-organized very fruitful trips.

Steve Hall.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I highly recommend supporting El Porvenir. They work in remote rural villages in Nicaragua that lack access to most basic services and are too small to receive assistance from other organizations. As a long time employee of a non profit that has collaborated with them on hundreds of water and sanitation projects in Nicaragua, I can attest to the dedication and impact of their work. El Porvenir continues to be a valuable partner to us and we hope to continue including them in our program for many years to come!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with El Porvenir for 23 of its 25 years. Grassroots organization. Responsible with their money. No highly paid executives or board perks. Volunteers and staff alike are passionate and dedicated.It's real people helping real people with basic needs.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

A laudable organization delivering health and wealth through clean water project.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Spent some time in Nicaragua with El Porvenir. Wonderful team, mission and approach!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on 4 trips to Nicaragua with El Porvenir, sponsored by my church. The evidence of their work in rural areas is everywhere. The staff people we work with in Nicaragua are honest, sincere as well as knowledgable and efficient. As you drive down the roads you see the wells and latrines that have been built by El Porvenir. As part of the program they also provide efficient wood stoves and reforestation. They not only bring clean water and sanitation to the villagers but follow up with continuing education and assistance with maintenance of the projects. I feel the same way about their representatives I have worked with from the US office. I give El Porvenir the highest rating possible. I have seen the evidence first hand that their work changes people's lives in one of the hemisphere's poorest countries. Any time or money donated to El Porvenir I would consider very well spent

Volunteer

Rating: 5

El Porvenir has been the NGO that has handled 3 Grants for Colorado Rotary Clubs. I have shared these experiences with them and our partner club in Nicaragua, Managua Rotary. We have observed great performance that has gone beyond the bounds necessary and can be called superlative efforts. In April 2015 I was part of a 7 day visit to Nicaragua which El Porvenir hosted for a reasonable fee. There were 6 of us and our purpose was review past, present and future Rotary projects/opportunities. We saw what has been done, projects being completed and future opportunities. And besides we had a great time in this wonderful country. This is an efficient, well run, dynamic and thoughtful organization with lots of ideas to help the countrymen of Nicaragua.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first work trip with El Porvenir was in 1999 when hurricane Mitch devasted rural Nicaragua. The experience truly changed my life and I have been involved with ever since.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has traveled to Nicaragua for the past 4 years and worked on various projects, all through El Porvenir. El Porvenir is an incredible organization and its employees pour their hearts into changing the lives of the families in Nicaragua. They are professional, organized, personable, compassionate, inspiring and very easy to work with. I can't wait to work with and see many of them again as I travel back to Nicaragua for the fourth time next February!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has been working with El Porvenir for the past three years. We have already scheduled our trips for 2016. I can't say enough positive things about this organization. It's not about 'americanizing' the people in Nicaragua, its about sustainability and education. The benefits of having clean drinking water is evident in the villages that participate in El Porvenir's programs. We look forward to seeing our friends again next year.

Erinanne H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

El Porvenir is helping people with the most basic need and doing it successfully. Their leadership is committed with integrity and a great network on the ground.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has been partnering with El Porvenir for almost 5 years. Through this partnership, we have made 4 trips to rural Nicaragua to witness the work first hand. Each time the experience has been enriching for the team members, life-changing for many of us. But it is in the relationships we have developed through El Porvenir that we have the deepest experiences. Driving through rural communities, you see the signs of the positive effect El Porvenir is having - wells, latrines, lavenderos, reforestation, fuel-efficient stoves, complete water systems. Grateful to be a part of this great organization and appreciative of all the ways they enhance and facilitate our experience. Most of all though, grateful for the thousands of lives that are being changed because of the work of El Porvenir

Donor

Rating: 5

We meet with them in the Denver Office and learned how El Porvenir helps Nicaragua villagers build there own clean water systems with their own efforts. It is amazing when people have clean water systems it leads to so may other things like latrines, good health in the young and old, education on health, more time for child to go to school and less fetching water out of contaminated sources, preserving the forests, cleaner cooking systems.

I have seen it first hand what the differences is without clean drinking water and with clean drinking water. This program succeeds and sustains through small donations, one dollar at a time. It also saves children's life's, one clean drop at a time. it is impressive how effective El Porvenir by how many villagers now have access to clean water and all the great things that comes with their program.

The Denver group passion is impressive. When we have donated to the cause they have been so fast to correspond with us and thank us for our support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2012, I took a trip with El Porvenir to the Camoapa region of Nicaragua. I was 18 years old, and went by myself. I didn't know anyone, I speak VERY little Spanish, and had no idea what to expect. It was an absolutely eye-opening experience! To see the heart of the people in Nicaragua, and also the heart of El Porvenir was so amazing. I hold that trip very dear to my heart, and share my experience with everyone that lets me share it with them.

I can't wait until I have the opportunity to go back to Nicaragua with El Porvenir!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has been involved with El Porvenir for several years, 2 Mission Trips and one I personally went on. We have been very impressed with the whole organization, from the person organizing the trips, local office here in Denver, the guides in Nicaragua, the building project folks they 'contract'--I do not have one negative thing to say about the whole organization. They make conditions better for the people of Nicaragua and I am proud to be a very small part of that. The Nicaraguans help with the projects as well and are so appreciative of our help.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

In developing a solar oven project in Nica I happened upon well after well, and newly built lavatories that were built by El Porvenir. I couldn't help but be impressed with the work, and ended up sponsoring a latrine myself. They do the real work that needs doing, as far as I can tell.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

El Porvenir is a serious, transparent, effective development organization working only in Nicaragua, with 20 years' experience in rural water and sanitation project development. I have worked in or visited its projects many times over the past 20 years and am impressed with the integrity of the organization and the long-term impact it has on rural communities. You read a lot of promotional prose on the internet about development organizations, but I can attest from direct personal knowledge that this one really does what it says it does. Nicaragua is a poor country whose government cannot fund infrastructure, but depends on international investment and donations to provide clean drinking water, sanitary facilities, and reforestation of watersheds. El Porvenir has been making such investments in Nicaragua since 1989. These investments are always locally initiated and after self-help construction are left in the hands of the village to maintain and repair. I have seen projects still working well 14 years or more after construction.

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

I served on the board of directors of El Porvenir for many years. I was very involved in El Porvenir's policy-making, fundraising, staffing, and planning. I visited Nicaragua every year and lived in Nicaragua for four years recently. I am very familiar with El Porvenir's history, development, and method of operation in Nicaragua, and feel proud of being part of this organization and its work. I have talked with the people of the villages, especially the women, about the changes in their lives brought about by the new well, the new gravity flow water system (the most dramatic changes), the new latrines, the new lavandero. I have seen and heard the pride and ownership the villagers feel in these projects, which they initiated, built, and continue to care for and use. El Porvenir meets a fundamental human need, supports the initiative and strengths of Nicaraguan people, hires Nicaraguans to carry out its work, and operates with minimal administrative expenditure.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I think that El Porvenir does a great service for Nicaragua and Nicaraguans. It involves the community members to help make improvements to their communities and enrich their lives. The group has a mission to provide clean water in the rural areas by providing education to help themselves making them more independent.