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2015 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

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When others ask me what models they should study regarding community development in other countries, I tell them El Porvenir. They have the wisdom, the skill, the talent, the access to people with the technical knowledge and the country-based knowledge to figure out the best strategies that are going to have the most impact and lead to sustainable change. And, most important of all, they are truly "ground up" -- working with the community from beginning to end, responding to them, training them, being by their side, and avoiding solutions or decisions imposed or cooked up by "outsiders". The study/volunteer trip was an unforgettable experience.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My church participates in conjunction with a nearby church in working with El Porvenir in Nicaragua. El Porvenier is a small non-profit working with volunteers to build projects in villages. Our group will be working to build a well and other facilities for villagers who have to walk hours to bring back water to the village. The improvements built under the El Porvenir plan also improve sanitation and health for the villagers. Very exciting, and I can't wait to go.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

El Porvenir provides volunteers with an opportunity to work in small villages, with the "mayor' and many of the village people in assessing the needs of the village, and then proceeding to solutions for them.
I worked in a village where there were no latrines. Each family in the village had dug a huge hole behind their houses. The El Porvenir came in with us, the volunteers, to enclose the latrines with brick, along with help from the villagers themselves. We worked very hard, made many friends, and participated in meetings of the whole village, at night, where the importance of using latrines, and then washing hands were dramatized by some of the villagers. Low tech responses to needs is key to El Porvenir's work, as is needs coming from the villages themselves. El Porvenir's primary goal is to supply clean water to remote villages.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I built stoves with a group of volunteers for a village supported by El Porvenir. We also toured a couple of cities while there. We met the staff and were deeply impressed by how well-run was our trip and the project. We were impressed by their follow-up education program, which helps to boost the long-term success of projects.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I weat to Nicaragua with Elderhostel to work for El Porvenir. My colleagues were wonderful, enthusiastic, intelligent, caring people. Our El Porvenir leaders were knowledgeable, flexible, understanding and fun.

The Nicaraguan people we met were warm and welcoming. I fell in love with the country and its people. I also felt that El Porvenir, for very little money, made a huge positive impact on people's everyday lives by helping to provide clean water. So simple, yet so vital.

I have been contributing to El Porvenir ever since and I will continue to do so as long as I am able.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We went to build a lavandero. When that didn't work out, we built stoves instead. We completely fell in love with all the people of "our" village who worked so diligently with us to accomplish as much as possible in the short time that we had together.

Review from Guidestar

Mary Locke C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are getting ready for our 5th El Porvenir adventure. The work done by this organization defines "grass roots" in that it provides an essential resource for those who need it most at the least cost. The Nicaraguan people maintain ownership of the projects--they direct and supervise with El Porvenir help. Having accessible clean water, toilets, space for privacy when bathing....all of these are important, especially to the women and children.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I went to Nicaragua with a volunteer group for a week and built a shelter for washing clothes and taking a shower. It was a wonderful experience working with the people of the village. El Porvenir does a fantastic job of identifying needs of a community and of the community working with El Porvenir to build what they need: clean water, latrines, washing stations, reforestation.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with El Porvenir in 2008 assessing the water needs of small communities. The staff of El Porvenir in Nicaragua was a pleasure to work with and helped make my stay in Nicaragua memorable. They were instrumental in helping me learn about and enjoy the places and people of Nicaragua. The Denver staff has also been very helpful.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on the trip to celebrate my 50th birthday. It was one of the best vacations of my life. I loved the food, and got used to rice and beans each day. Mainly, I loved working with the children of the village. They competed with each other to gather stones, and wheeled the wheel barrel when my tired bones could not keep up. The countryside was so beautiful - like the shire in Lord of the Rings! Animals everywhere walking down the roads with their owners. The group of people I traveled with were among the nicest folks I've ever met. It is a great organization, and six years later I am still a regular donor to EL Porvenir. They have a bare bones budget, and if you donate, have no fear that your money will have an impact. I receive many requests for charity, but no charity is more worthy. The gift of clean water is so important, and the people of Niceragua are wonderful!

Review from Guidestar

Keke H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

El Porvenir is a wonderful organization and I very much enjoyed my volunteer experience. Working together with friends, family, strangers from my own country was uplifting but it was nothing compared to working side by side with the people we were helping. The feeling of unity and camaraderie was amazing even with the language barrier, or perhaps because of it.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I chose El Porvenir for my first volunteer vacation because it seemed like a worthwhile organization, in part because they address such a basic need - clean water in Nicaragua. The importance they place on working in partnership with each community they help was also very important to me and I was impressed that the vast majority of their staff in Nicaragua are themselves Nicaraguan.

Having gone on a trip with them late in 2010, I was truly impressed. We worked in a village community, side by side with families there, building latrines. In fact, our labor contribution was almost superfluous - but the people were warm and generous and truly seemed to enjoy appreciate having us there, even if we were not the tireless workers that they were.

In addition to the work and the interactions with the people in the village, almost every day also had an educational or cultural component. We were given a tour of Managua; we visited a rural school and local clinic; we were given a lively lecture on the history of Nicaragua; live musicians had us up and dancing one night after dinner.

El Porvenir's work trips conclude with a recreational weekend. Although it was a little mentally jarring to go from a poor village to a nice hotel in Granada, I very much appreciated the opportunity it see a bit more of Nicaragua and to relax a little before returning home to work.

Finally, I can't say enough good things about El Porvenir's staff. Our group leader was tireless and his English was excellent. His partner didn't speak English as well but she also did a fantastic job (including, but not limited to, overseeing our simply yet very tasty meals). It was also very nice that El Porvenir has their own van and trucks so transportation was easy. I would unequivocally recommend El Porvenir to anyone considering a volunteer vacation.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled to Nicaragua to work on two El Porvenir volunteer brigades. Both experiences were very different, and very rewarding. The staff does an amazing job of looking after their "guests", while providing us with the resources to complete our projects. The best part of the whole experience is working side by side with the Nicaraguan people in their communities.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled to Nicaragua as part of a Volunteer Brigade in November 2010, to help a small community outside El Sauce build a lavandero, a community washing and bathing facility. The experience was transformative for me. I had never been part of the reality of everyday life in a third world country before. This experience enabled me to understand in a new, visceral way how difficult life is for many people on this earth. The project was incredibly well organized, with wonderful leaders. We volunteers worked hard alongside adults and children from the small community, and we were able to finish the project by the end of the week. I saw firsthand that El Porvenir is truly a "self-help" organization. The community's latrines and well, built with assistance from El Porvenir, had already made a great improvement in the health and economic stability of this small community, and the completed lavandero was enabling them to take another step into a healthier, more economically secure future. We saw health education and reforestation taking place. This is an organization which does not waste money, and which truly makes a difference in the daily lives of poor people.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although my El Porvenir experience was years ago, I recall it vividly. The trip was so well organized by the El Porvenir staff that the brigade volunteers were able to concentrate on completing worthwhile work while getting to know Nicaragua and its wonderful people. I came away feeling that my time and money were well spent and I had been able to make a difference.

Eight members of our church were part of a larger brigade that worked on lavenderos, dug a dry well and planted trees. Five members of the brigade were young people who were kept too busy to be bored and enjoyed an experience they will always remember.

I had been to Nicaragua previously with another organization. The trip was poorly run, but it did show us that clean water is a critical need in Nicaragua. On our return from that trip, we searched for an organization to address that need and feel blessed to have found El Porvenir. Our experience on our El Porvenir trip showed us that, indeed, this organization knows how to get the job done!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our group of 4 volunteers assisted the work crew, local men working for free as part of the Casas Viejas community. All supplies and construction designs were provided by El Porvenir. The women and children pitched in as necessary, cooking, digging, carrying. With the support of the whole community this project was completed in a week, and culminated with a fiesta celebration attended by all including music, dancing, poetry, speeches and the children's dance of the pinata.
As a whole the village is happy, constructive, self-sustaining and non-political, though very poor when it comes to money and possessions. It's unfortunate that the government doesn't supply the basics of health and education for its people, but that's where El Porvenir kicks in. I'm secure in knowing that my time and money go to the people that need it when supporting El Porvenir, and its grass-roots goals of supplying the most important necessities in life - water and sanitation.

Review from Guidestar