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.
This was my second trip to Nicaragua with El Porvenir. We brought a friend with us. It is a fabulous opportunity to work with a grass roots organization providing life saving WATER!!!! A lot of hard work, a lot of fun! We will go back next year.
El Porvenir's vision is clear and executed well. Starting with a mission of clean water for rural Nicaragua, they saw how sanitation, deforestation and a lack of education on these issues was impacting their clean water mission. They expanded their work to address these issues to support sustainable sources of clean water.
With only a one in-country gringo and a few stateside, they built an organization run by Nicaraguans, designed their mission as technical assistance to a local community that has an active role in their project. El Porvenir follows up with the community on each project and uses simple technology that can be maintained locally and is sustainable.
Volunteers can get involved in work projects that are well organized, informative, and transformative.
Overhead is low so donations have a big impact on the people it is intended to help
My husband and I have volunteered on projects run by several different organizations. But the water project we worked on in Nicaragua with El Porvenir was by far the best organized, most smoothly run, and truly inclusive project of any we have experienced. The people from the village participated in the decision making and we worked side by side with them building a lavenders and shower stall. El Porvenir does not stop its support with the end of the building. It returns to visit the people, make sure the equipment is maintained, and trouble shoots for years to come. El Porvenir is an outstanding organization.
Sheila and Ed Rogers
This is a great organization! When my son was 14 I traveled with him to Nicaragua with El Porvenir for a service trip to build latrines in a village near Dario. We were a group of Oberlin College graduates, eclectic as can be, accompanied by an Oberlin professor with expertise as a researcher in Nicaragua and parts of Central America. What a time we had! Another mother came with her son near in age to mine, and the boys worked side by side with the adults and were the hit of the community we worked with. Impressive to me was how well organized the trip was, from meeting us at the airport (in a beat-up Russian made mini-truck, but how appropriate!) to take us to the hotel, where the electricity was out but candles led our way. Our interpreter was wonderful, local hosts and planner all excelled in what they did. The side trips to see the coffee plantation and other sites made it a rich experience. I appreciated a trip of value, the opportunity to help my son learn about service, and that we lived and ate not as outsiders, but with villagers. Also appreciated that we worked side-by-side with villagers, and that there was local capacity building to sustain clean water and sanitation systems. Great all around experience.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.