Healthy, educated Nicaraguans achieving a better quality of life for themselves through integrated clean water projects.
Improve the standard of living of rural Nicaraguans through water, sanitation, health education, and watershed management projects.
How We Work
El Porvenir does not initiate projects; staff members respond to requests for assistance from rural villages.
Village residents elect their own project committee, provide all labor on a volunteer basis, and take responsibility for the long-term maintenance of all projects. El Porvenir encourages the community to include women among the committee members.
El Porvenir provides technical expertise and training, lends tools, and funds the materials needed to complete the projects.
Community health education staff visits the projects periodically after their completion to ensure villagers know how to properly maintain their projects.
Since 1990, El Porvenir has worked side-by-side with rural families in Nicaragua to construct wells, latrines, village washing facilities as well as support reforestation projects.
Carole Harper, a judge in California, founded El Porvenir in 1990 after serving as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua. She launched El Porvenir to address the lack of clean drinking water in rural communities and respond to the determination of local people to improve their living standards.
As El Porvenir developed, it grew into an integrated program that included water, sanitation, hygiene and maintenance education, and reforestation. When El Porvenir started its village work trips, Nicaragua was recovering from the aftermath of a civil war and didn’t have a tourism industry; it was difficult to find English-speaking guides, public transportation, or hotels outside of Managua. For North Americans to travel to Nicaragua and see El Porvenir’s rural development work first-hand, it was necessary for El Porvenir to serve as a tour organizer. Work trips were created, and small groups of North Americans were brought into rural villages to experience village life, working alongside local families on projects.
What was once an organization with one employee, who carried out four projects a year, has become a leading international nonprofit with 26 staff members, 23 of whom are Nicaraguan.
Where We Work
Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. In a country where 37% of rural people have no safe drinking water (UNICEF) and 47% of the forest cover has disappeared over the last 50 years (UN Food and Agriculture Organization), EP’s water, sanitation, and reforestation programs are a critical way to improve the living standards of the rural poor while conserving environmental resources. We work in remote rural villages that lack access to most basic services and are too small to receive assistance from other organizations. In general, communities are formed of subsistence farmers or day laborers who live in extreme poverty, surviving on $35-70/month. El Porvenir projects have been implemented in the three departments in color on the map.