: Esperanca

Discussion Forum

Selection criteria

By Agua Para La Salud (APLS) Posted on Wed 01 Sep 2010, almost 14 years ago

Would you list the criteria or process for selecting villages for projects? Are there any political or religeous ties to projects.....Gracias

Welcome to a new friend

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Fri 13 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

PWX members,

I know you are all currently in the midst of a funding cycle and so why another review? Apologies for a more concentrated load ...

MSSCT funded Esperanca last year for water projects in Nicaragua. They have just been referred to PWX and so are missing the current funding round. However, we want to welcome them and see if our partners with experience in Nicaragua and Mozambique can find connections.

I want to learn more about your water projects in Nicaragua. You have put your nice short video, but i want details on locations, community organization, technology, sanitation, ... and would love to work with you to get them onto PWX (as MSSCT wants). Even see if they can be visited.


Welcome to a new friend

By Esperanca Posted on Thu 19 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

Esperança’s has been working in Nicaragua along with our partner, Asociación de Voluntarios para el Desarrollo Comunitario/Association of Volunteers for Community Development (AVODEC), since 2001 in the northern city of Jinotega. Our works supports tens of villages and communities in the surrounding area.

We work to improve the health of Nicaraguan families through various public health programs including: water filters, community gardens, improved housing, latrines, wells, dental services, midwife training, micro-loans and health education. Esperança’s project in Nicaragua is comprehensive, providing trainings, resources, and health services through a wide range of initiatives, all of which are created and implemented by local members of the community.

Esperança does not hire staff and send them to Nicaragua to work on water projects. We partner with an indigenous NGO who is personally invested in each and every project…their family members, friends, and colleagues live in these communities which makes them very accountable. Follow-up or tracking of our projects isn’t something that we have to “do” because it is organically built into the process. If there are issues with any water system or well, our staff knows about it and helps the community find a solution. Each solution is different…sometimes the local community mayor will allocate funding for the repairs/materials, a local church may be able to do it, each community member will give a portion to fix it, or a local company will donate the parts to be installed. So essentially, we do keep track of all our projects over the last 10 years and there does not seem to be that dependence on Esperanca due to the reasons above.

There are other factors that are important to community buy-in as well. For one, the community requests a water project and then resources are sought. We do not look for resources first then find a community to benefit. Secondly, a committee made up of community members, church leaders, school teachers, and government leaders is put together to coordinate the construction of each water project and also maintain it for the long-term. This committee is overseen by our local partner for 1-3 years and meets on a quarterly basis. We then transfer the committee over to the local government. The committee as a whole determines what additional families can be added to the water source, repairs and maintenance that needs to happen, and many other issues. Our local staff then provides technical assistance as needed.

Interested individuals are always welcome to visit our project sites.

Geography of coverage

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Sat 14 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

Please list the area(s) which you work in and, if you have expansion plans, which areas you plan to grow in.
Where is your office?

Would like to see how we can increase the synergy between your work and that of others in the region. Thanks.

Geography of coverage

By Esperanca Posted on Thu 19 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

Esperanca works in the northern region of Nicaragua. The base of our operations is in Jinotega. Our water projects serve tens of villages surrounding Jinotega.

Esperanca’s headquarters are in Phoenix, Arizona.

Esperança works with local partners in the region which include other NGOs, churches, local governments, and is definitely willing to partner with other agencies working towards the same goal.

From Gilles Corcos of Agua Para La Vida

By Agua Para la Vida (APLV) Posted on Sun 15 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

As we probably all know an average of 4 or 4 NGOs (not to mention mayors at reelection time) take credit for the construction of any single water providing system. I have read with interest a whole well illustrated and glossy magazine issued by an NGO, praising a large water project as its own. You could not escape the belief that they were the main actors. Yet their contribution be it organizational, financial technical or of supervision was totally negligible and the project, (which was designed by us, constructed under our supervision and funder by several sources (one of which proposed the project but none of which included the NGO in question).

So one of our problems as reviewers is to assess the real part that NGOs requesting funding play in each project.
You state that your total water budget is $78,000. You also state that you have provided 2200 homes in Bolivia (which you have constructed) with clean water. You also state that you Nicaragua involvment is the major one. So what is your Nicaragua water budget? And which projects in Nicaragua have you been responsible for (design, construction, funding)? And which are your local partners?

Thank you.

From Gilles Corcos of Agua Para La Vida

By Esperanca Posted on Thu 19 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

Our Nicaragua water budget is $57,000. Esperança’s model is to help indigenous NGOs to develop and become self-sustaining. Esperança provides administrative, financial and technical assistance to the NGO and the local NGO implements the work. This synergy has proven to be effective in delivering long-term health solutions to the poor for over 40 years.


By El Porvenir Posted on Wed 18 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

Dear Esperanca,

Welcome, good to hear about other actors in Nicaragua. I am eager to hear your responses here. Also, I think I saw you are working with AVODEC (whom we know somewhat) - are you or they implementing directly in the field? Just curious.

Are you members of RASNIC?



By Esperanca Posted on Mon 23 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

They way we approach our partnership with AVODEC is, Esperanca is AVODEC in Nicaragua and AVODEC is Esperanca in the US. Yes, we are members of RASNIC. Thanks!

Design Criteria for projects

By Agua Para La Salud (APLS) Posted on Fri 13 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

Would you post the details of a finished water project which includes your hydraulic design elements, material lists, consumption criteria, tubing schematic, topographic studies ,grey water treatment; and system for long term support of water system maintenance?

Details of you most used sanitaion solution for homes would also be helpful....Thanks

Design Criteria for projects

By Esperanca Posted on Thu 19 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

The details regarding each water project varies depending on the type of project we are implementing, community need, and geographical area.

In terms of our wells, the following is an overview of the construction process and the technology that is primarily utilized.

Construction of a well takes about fifty-one days total; forty-five days for three community members to dig the hole, and six more days for two community members to build the wall with brick and concrete. The wells are called hand dug water wells because they are excavated by hand. The community excavates the wells with tools such as tree branches and shovels. They dig an average of 16 inches per work day. The depth of each well varies depending on the location, type of soil, and the altitude. On average, they are about 18 meters deep, but in the past have been from 6 meters to 25 meters deep.

The walls are constructed with burned bricks and mixed concrete, building a cylinder from the bottom to the top, and about a meter in diameter. At the top of the well, a concrete tap is used to protect the water from any contaminant materials like leaves, stones or trash.

A rope water pump will be installed on the top of the concrete tap to remove the water out the well. In order to maintain the wells, community families clean the well with chlorine about four times a year and change the rope on the water pump every two years or as needed.

Below is information from a recent project in which 6 wells and 4 water reservoir/mini-aqueduct systems were constructed.

The process of selection, construction, and completion of each well is one that we have been implementing for over 10 years. It is important for us that the community takes part in the entire process in order to ensure community “buy-in” and sustainability after the project is completed.

We selected benefitting communities based on recommendations made by our community volunteer network, based on each community’s level of demand and need. The following communities were selected: Las Cuchillas, Datanli, Los Robles, El Gamalote, El Jobo, Ocotalillo, la Virgen, La Perla, America y Los Positos.

We then met with respective community leaders and community members to explain the project objectives and construction process. We outlined responsibilities for each individual, family, and community and discussed the details, such as the amount of time that would be required for the completion of a well.

We inspected potential sites for excavation, identifying sites with sufficient water supply using a handmade honing wire device. We marked the various locations, choosing sites that were close to homes and centrally located.

Afterward, we helped the communities elect a committee for each site in order to oversee the work and represent the community during the execution of the project. We required that at least one member of the committee be a member of our community volunteer network. Members of the committee organized their community into work groups, developing a time line and scheduling hours that each family would contribute in order for the well to be completed.

Finally, we implemented training workshops for committee members and beneficiaries during the well construction process in order to teach skills required for the well construction and to provide related preventative health education.

We will continue to work with each community to provide monitoring and follow-up of each well that was constructed.


• Constructed 6 community wells that are fully functional with one additional community well pending completion. The wells are covered, plastered, have a concrete cover, and use a rope pump to pull water to the surface.
• Installed 3 water sources with storage tanks and tubing (water sources are equivalent to wells but the source of the water is different such as a mountain or spring). The three water sources have been covered and contained using concrete and plaster.
• Provided a clean water source for 504 individuals (86 families)
• Community members completed 11,592 work hours, including men, women and children.

Below are outcomes for each benefitting community:

Las Cuchillas: Community members excavated the well 16 meters deep in 1,344 work hours. The well was completed with 2.5 meters of water, and benefits 25 individuals in 5 families.

Datanli: Community members excavated the well 16 meters deep in 2,496 work hours. The well was completed with 1.5 meters of water, and benefits 60 individuals in 10 families.

Los Robles: Community members excavated the well 11 meters deep in 496 work hours. The well was completed with 1.5 meters of water, and benefits 40 individuals in 8 families.

El Gamalote “El Palacio”: In this community, 2 wells were excavated, but one was abandoned as a result of coordination issues between the beneficiaries and the committee coordinator. Additionally, families were discouraged by the harsh terrain which was very rocky. The community excavated 4 meters deep in 328 work hours although no water was found.

In another location of the community, community members excavated a well 12 meters deep in 632 work hours but did not find water. Although the ground is very rocky, the community continues working on the excavation. We have provided them with the necessary construction materials such as brick, sand, gravel and tin. Once excavation is completed, we will provide them with the rope pump that has already been purchased and is currently in storage. This well will benefit 18 individuals in 3 families.

El Jobo: Community members excavated the well 10 meters deep in 1,152 work hours. The well was completed with 6 meters of water, and benefits 24 individuals in 4 families. There is no vehicle access in this community so the community members carried the materials on their shoulders from the nearby community of Jocomico, approximately 3km (2 miles) away.

El Ocotalillo: Community members excavated the well 10 meters deep in 768 work hours. The well was completed with 6 meters of water, and benefits 25 individuals in 5 families. The community carried the materials on horses from the city of Jinotega as there is no vehicle access in this sector of the region.

La Virgen: Community members excavated the well 10 meters deep in 1,536 work hours. No water was found so the community opted instead for the improvement of a water reservoir that would serve 21 individuals in 3 families.

Perla: This community constructed a reservoir and a mini aqueduct in 824 work hours. The water source has a capacity of 5.040 gallons per day and benefits 25 individuals in 5 families.

Ámerica: This community constructed a reservoir and a storage tank to improve a gravity mini aqueduct in 928 work hours. The water source has a capacity of 7,200 gallons per day to provide water for 64 individuals in 11 families.

Los Positos: This community constructed a filter in order to clean a water source and improve a gravity-run mini-aqueduct in 1,088 work hours. The water source has the capacity of 11,500 gallons per day and benefits 220 individuals in 35 families.

Beneficiaries contributed unskilled labor by digging wells, movement of materials and installation of pumps and pipes. In some cases they also provided a percentage of the payment of skilled labor.

Design Criteria for projects

By El Porvenir Posted on Tue 31 Aug 2010, almost 14 years ago

Dear Lori,

Thanks for your detailed answers. You talk a lot about water projects here, and seem to have a good approach - good stuff.

What about sanitation?

What about hygiene education?

How are you going about that in these communities?


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