El Porvenir

Clean Water, Healthy Nicaraguans

aka El Porvenir   |   Broomfield, CO   |  http://www.elporvenir.org

Mission

Partner with rural Nicaraguans to develop and implement lasting projects and educational programs that increase access to clean water.

Notes from the nonprofit

We believe all people deserve clean water, safe sanitation, and the knowledge to sustain it for the generations to follow. We partner with the people of Nicaragua so that they can build a better future for themselves through the sustainable development of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) education projects. We also take it a step further with our watershed management program, which promotes water flow, increases food security, and reduces the impact of climate change. Clean drinking water for all Nicaraguans—no matter how remote or how bad the road is—is at the core of everything we do, now and into the FUTURE.

Ruling year info

1995

Executive Director

Rob Bell

Main address

80 Garden Center Ste 135 Ste 135

Broomfield, CO 80020 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

68-0230597

NTEE code info

Public Health Program (E70)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and approximately 40% of the population lives on less than $2.00 a day. 49% of rural Nicaraguans lack access to safe sanitation, and even for those with access, the condition of the latrines may be unsafe; 45% of rural Nicaraguans lack access to clean water. Combine these challenges with a changing climate that is reducing water flow in the sources from which the community water projects draw as well as causing severe weather events, and you have a water and food security crisis. Many of the adults and children suffer from preventable diseases related to poor sanitation and contaminated water. Although the villagers recognize the need for improved water and sanitation, they cannot afford to purchase the construction materials themselves. We serve the rural poor of Nicaragua, specifically the areas surrounding six municipalities with initially low levels of water and sanitation coverage.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Water and Sanitation

Improve the standard of living of rural Nicaraguans through water, sanitation, health education, and watershed management projects.

Population(s) Served
Families
Adults

We believe all people deserve clean water, safe sanitation, and the knowledge to sustain it for future generations. We partner with the people of Nicaragua so that they can build a better future for themselves through the sustainable development of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) education projects. We also take it a step farther with our watershed management program which promotes water flow, increases food security, and reduces the impact of climate change. Clean drinking water for all Nicaraguans—no matter how remote or how bad the road is—is at the core of everything we do

Population(s) Served
Families

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of water projects built

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Water and Sanitation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Annually, we partner with approximately 35,000 rural Nicaraguans on wells, water systems, school handwashing stations, fuel-efficient stoves, hygiene education, latrines/toilets, and watershed restoration activities. These specific initiatives are focused on achieving universal water and sanitation coverage in the 6 municipalities where we carry out projects.

El Porvenir is uniquely qualified for this work because of our mainly Nicaraguan staff, 30 years of experience, the evaluations we’ve learned from, and our track record of success.

Organization's Goals:
Empower rural Nicaraguans and communities to achieve better health through comprehensive clean water projects. We will partner with rural Nicaraguans to develop and implement:
-Lasting clean water and sanitation projects looking to universal coverage (access to water)
-Environmental and Hygiene Education (quality of water)
-Protection of water sources (quantity of water)

Additionally, we are working to
• Improve our educational outreach and behavior change program: Health benefits multiply substantially through participation in hygiene education. Outreach will include
o Menstrual hygiene training
o Messaging via text messages, television, national radio and/or social media
o Municipal and national alliances to promote healthy and environmentally friendly behaviors through public health campaigns

• Increase women’s participation for greater effectiveness and more sustainable projects by
o Encouraging women to create social water and sanitation enterprises
o Encouraging women to take a greater role in project management

• Include health posts in project implementation to promote better health for all

• Prepare for an increased demand for toilets rather than latrines

To ensure project sustainability, communities are screened to determine their commitment to the project. The community must be willing to play an active role, providing labor and 5-15% of project materials, while El Porvenir provides technical assistance, tools, and other materials for project construction. Once the infrastructure is built, the community is responsible for ongoing maintenance and repair of water and sanitation systems. Local governments contribute 10-15% of project costs as well. Many of these communities are isolated and only accessible by foot, horse, or motorcycle. Access increases during the dry season, so most project work is done then.

In addition to water and sanitation coverage, we address watershed protection to increase water flow, promote aquifer recharge, and increase food security. According to a three-decade long study done by the University of Vermont, “increasing the number of trees by a third near the source of watersheds in rural areas could improve water sanitation as effectively as installing indoor plumbing or toilets.”

There are four components to El Porvenir's work:
1. Project preparation done by the community.
2. Construction of water & sanitation infrastructure with the community.
3. Health and hygiene education to reduce water and sanitation related illnesses.
4. Reforestation to increase water infiltration and aquifer recharge to protect the watershed as well as prevent landslides and soil erosion.

El Porvenir has 30 years of experience working with rural Nicaraguan communities to build appropriate technology as well as provide communities with the tools they need to manage their water, sanitation, and forestry resources. El Porvenir’s methodology is based on three key principles: (a) community empowerment through active participation and ownership in the project, (b) creation of sustainable organizations in the community to manage resources in the long term, and (c) focus on appropriate technology made from low-cost, locally available materials that can be maintained easily and cheaply by the community.

El Porvenir is uniquely qualified for this work because of our mainly Nicaraguan staff, 30 years of experience, the evaluations we’ve learned from, and our track record of success.

To date, EP has partnered with over 210,000 rural Nicaraguans to build 617 community water projects, build 13,811 latrines and toilets, plant over 1,400,000 trees, construct and educate all community partners in health and environmental issues.

We have many success stories on our website at elporvenir.org/blog; here's one that looks at the impact of our project work:

“Water at our homes is important so we don’t suffer hauling water long distances or consume contaminated water. Water is life and health. I have lived here 20 years; we had been consuming well water, and we did not know if it was good or not. We thank God and the donors for helping us to have water in our houses—above all because it is safe water.” — Sayda Eugarrios

“We are eager to have clean water and looked for a solution for a while. We are finally going to have water. The community is busy working and excited. The pumphouse is almost complete, the main pipe is in place, the storage tank is in process, and we’re working on the taps at each home. This project is important because drought continues to hit us more in the dry season and so that we don't keep getting sick from drinking dirty water.” — Santos Isabel Bucardo Quirós

“This project is important because we are going to drink clean water; it will not be water like we drank before. We have been drinking this water from a hand-dug well, without chlorination, for almost 65 years, for as long as I can remember. Now we are going to drink clean water. It is important to have safe water in our houses for our health. With this water system, we will not get sick, and the children will grow up better.” — Cesar Augusto Bucardo

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve the rural poor of Nicaragua in six regions: Camoapa, Ciudad Dario, El Sauce, San Lorenzo, Terrabona, and Waslala. Communities range in size from 45-500 people. Most people are subsistence farmers, earning $45-100/month per household. Most have access to schooling through 6th grade; rural health posts exist, staffed by a nurse and a visiting doctor. 45% of rural Nicaraguans lack safe drinking water, and 49% lack access to safe sanitation. Community members have already determined their needs and reach out to El Porvenir to ask for support with clean water or safe sanitation projects. Community members must be willing to play an active role in project construction, contribute 5-15% of project materials, and participate in hygiene education and project maintenance training.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Latrines built at schools with preschools now have smaller, easier to use preschool stalls. This helps the children feel safe when they use the latrine at school. We recently worked with a family where a family member was in a wheelchair. We use a pre-fabricated shell for latrines, but we were able to work with the manufacturer to build an accessible latrine. This made a huge difference for this man as well as his family caregivers.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We carry out full community assessments with community members as they know best what their needs are and what they want for solutions. Because of this approach, we build strong, respectful partnerships. We partner with people so that they have the skills and know-how to maintain their projects well into the future. One strong example of when we realized how important feedback is goes back to when we began: initially, we only built water projects. Our community partners kept telling us that they needed sanitation, too. We listened, and they were right. To keep water clean, safe sanitation is necessary--and it's a bigger need in rural areas than water. We've since added a watershed restoration program that includes improved farming techniques that came out of community feedback as well.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

El Porvenir
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

El Porvenir

Board of directors
as of 10/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Philip McVey

Retired

Term: 2021 - 2023

Ray Finney

Retired

Dave Arnolds

Retired

Chris Conway

Albany Academy

Joni Foster

Rural Community Assistance Corporation

Gabriela Tinoco

Engineer by training

Joe Sloan

Leslie Moulton

Environmental Science Associates

Jan Adams

Organizational and political consultant

Jack Dunn

Retired manager for Alcoa

Sharon Powers

Retired

Kristen Lionetti

Independent Consultant

Nora Reynolds

GlobalSL

Andrew Simpson

Retired, Advantage Exchange Co.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/13/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/13/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.