EWB-GWU sends representatives to help improve the lives of the families of La Peña, El Salvador through sustainable engineering solutions.

The mission of this program is to assist with the general health of La Peña’s families and future generations. There are several health issues that the community faces which could be resolved from structured, professional assistance and sustainable education. Currently 17 of 33 families do not have access to latrines and relieve themselves on the hillside or in small streams, while the rest have facilities but these are ineffective and the waste is directed to the hillside and nearby streams. The contaminated water runs down the mountain to neighboring communities. Many families from both La Peña and these neighboring communities depend on water potentially contaminated from La Peña for drinking, cooking, and bathing. It is well known that contaminated water is the source of many diseases; however, these communities do not have an alternative water source. A water project combined with a latrine project would aid in securing safe drinking water for the community of La Peña as well as the surrounding towns and help prevent contamination of drinking water.

We went on our first implementation trip to La Peña during spring break of 2012 and constructed two latrines. We bonded with the familes and learned the construction techniques from local mason men.

Our next trip is planned for January 2013. It will involve assessment of the two constructed latrines in addition to contructing more latrines until all of tha familes have bathroom facilities. The goal is to transfer the knowledge of the construction and operation of the latrines to the community so they can construct the remaining latrines and the new owners can be trained in the proper use by those who already have the latrines.

This is the first project we, as the EWB-GWU chapter, will be starting and completing entirely on our own and we appreciate all of your support!

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