Thanksgiving celebrates the blessings of the past year, so the sentiment of rural Nicaraguans' heartfelt appreciation for donor contributions fits well with the Day of Thanks. This month, we turn "Life in Nicaragua" over to the voices of our Nicaraguan partners who are thankful for all of you who have made life-changing projects for over 200,000 rural Nicaraguans possible.

"We've already seen a change in the environment thanks to the nurseries and tree plantings. We appreciate El Porvenir’s collaboration and donors’ contributions to the nursery." --Rebeca Reyes, Posolí, San Lorenzo

"I feel better because we do not go to the bathroom in the field, we no longer run into danger at night, and the children are safer going to the new and well-built latrine that we now have. We thank El Porvenir for this project." --Carmen Montoya Martínez, San Lorenzo

"We thank God and the donors for this help because it is very important to drink clean water. You cannot imagine how long I spent wishing to have a filter like this." --María Solano Obando, Miramontes, San Lorenzo

"We thank the donors to this project for the unconditional support they have given us and the way in which we are working in a united way and ensuring the principles of each person, placing importance on health." --Maynor Ruíz, El Carbonal, Ciudad Darío

"The El Porvenir [school handwashing station and latrines] project and the donors hit a home run with the construction of beautiful toilets and the beautiful handwashing station. We requested the project, and thanks to God and our efforts, we are seeing the reality of the project. It is very nice and useful. We thank the organization and the donors." --María de la Concepción, San Juan Yaró

While using the bathroom is a private endeavor, it's something everyone does. And for many in rural Nicaragua, that endeavor can be overly daunting, unintentionally public, and sometimes downright dangerous.

Before El Porvenir came to her community of La Sabana in El Sauce, Erce Gray Sevilla and her family had to share her neighbor's latrine. "We may run to use the bathroom, and we get to the neighbor's latrine, and he's busy, so we have to wait," says Erce Gray.

The 24-year-old mother and her family took advantage of the opportunity to work with El Porvenir on a community latrine project. "My family contributed the bricks," says Erce Gray. "We worked hard so that it was done well." She decorated her new latrine, and she plans on keeping it clean and well taken care of.

Over in Limón Dulce, Mercedes del Carmen Montoya Martínez and her family did not even have a neighbor's latrine to relieve themselves, so they went into the woods behind their home.

Thanks to the double-pit latrine project developed with El Porvenir, this mother will no longer be afraid that she or her children will be bitten by a snake, stung by a scorpion, or attacked by some nocturnal animal when using the bathroom.

"Now I feel better because we no longer do our necessities in the field. We are no longer in danger at night, and the children go safely to the new and well-built latrine that we now have," says Mercedes. "We thank El Porvenir for this project."

Like many in her San Lorenzo community that did not have a proper bathroom, Mercedes is proud of her latrine, and she happily shares, "I never thought we would have the opportunity to have a project like this."

Thanks to the contributions of many generous donors, El Porvenir has ensured that more families in rural Nicaragua have their own personal double-pit latrine so that they can use it safely at any time, and they're not taking care of business out in nature when nature calls

El Porvenir's staff, partners, families and friends went above and beyond in the 2021 Walk for Water. With over $10,000 raised in 10 days, the outpouring of participation and gifts made a huge difference in making this year's walk a success.

Regional coordinator Mario Garnier Vásquez received $270 in donations from over 25 Waslala residents, many of whom earn about $75/month. They supported the El Porvenir staff Walk for Water teams, making gifts of $3, $5, and sometimes more. When asked why they gave, the answers were all similar: "We know the work of El Porvenir, and we know it's a good cause. We're grateful for the support we've received and are making this donation to help other communities."

El Porvenir's pride in our staff and partners knows no bounds and their actions speak louder than words.