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Transforming lives through clean water.


To implement sustainable clean water solutions.


Commitment to long-term partnerships with Nicaraguan community members, supporting them as they build and maintain clean water solutions.
Leadership in the construction and sustainability of WASH projects and watershed restoration; we share our experience and knowledge with others to impact more people.


Respect for our community partners who build and maintain their own clean water and sanitation solutions.
Transparency in all we do.
Continuous learning to adapt and improve our work with communities.


Strategies to Achieve our Mission:

  • Alliances with communities, governments, and other organizations

  • Community empowerment and ownership with strong local leadership

  • Long-term community commitment

  • Intensive watershed restoration

  • Connecting WASH and watersheds


El Porvenir does not initiate WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene education) projects; staff members respond to requests for support from rural villages.

Community residents elect their own Potable Water and Sanitation Committee, provide all labor on a volunteer basis, and take responsibility for the long-term maintenance of all projects. El Porvenir is committed to gender equity and believes communities are more successful when women's voices are heard.

El Porvenir provides technical expertise and training, lends tools, and funds the materials needed to complete the projects.

Community members build, own, operate and maintain their projects.

Health education staff visit communities regularly after project completion to ensure residents know how to properly maintain their projects. Watersheds staff work with community members to reforest around their water sources as well as carry out more extensive watershed restoration work to reduce the impact of climate change and improve food and water security.


Since 1990, El Porvenir has worked side-by-side with rural families and schools in Nicaragua to construct wells, water systems, latrines, school hand-washing stations as well as support watershed restoration projects.

Carole Harper, a judge in California, founded El Porvenir in 1990 after working 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 offering 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 bring small groups of North Americans into rural areas to experience village life and work 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 a mainly Nicaraguan staff partnering with thousands of Nicaraguans annually.

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Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere:

  • 65% of people lack safe drinking water ( 

  • 56% have no safe sanitation (,

  • 47% of the forest cover has disappeared in 50 years (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

Our water, sanitation, and watershed restoration programs are critical to improve the living standards of the rural poor while conserving environmental resources.


We work in rural villages lacking access to basic services that are too small and remote to receive assistance from other organizations. Most of our community partners are subsistence farmers or day laborers living in extreme poverty, surviving on $50-90/month. 


We are proud members of RASNIC and The WASH Sustainability Charter.

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