San Juan del Sur has 33 rural communities spread out around it. Our partner, the Sister City Project, has been working with them since 2006 to address urgent needs including clean water and cooking stoves that don’t fill families’ homes with toxic smoke.
Most of their wells are contaminated because latrines seep into them, and rivers are contaminated up to their source from both animal and human excrement. Diarrhea and other resulting illnesses are common, especially in children, which is why the Sister City Project has been building BioSand water filters for rural families.
Another project at the rural community focuses on building EcoStoves. Women typically cook over open fires, so they and their children are breathing toxic smoke every day. The World Health Organization estimates that over 4 million people die annually from illnesses attributable to household air pollution from cooking in this manner. EcoStoves solve that problem by venting the smoke through a chimney and away from the house.
In 2015 alone, the Sister City Project completed 212 water filters and installed 259 EcoStoves in rural family homes.