Programmatic Focus:
  • Health Education
  • Community-based Natural Resource Management

El Salvador

Participating Communities:

The community of Las Naranjeras

Partner Organization:


Artistic Medium:

Mural painting, drawing

The Clean River Project
(06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008)
Project Planning

US $60

Background and Needs:

The lack of water in the Ticuma River presents a challenge for the community of Buena Vista because the people that live in Las Naranjeras and its outskirts are supplied by two means: rain water (during the wet season) and bottled water that they must purchase. The River Ticuma is the only local source where they can obtain this vital liquid.

However, the river is quite obviously littered with garbage, such as plastic waste, detergents, wrappers, clothing etc. and yet there are neither garbage collectors nor is there any initiative to care for the location.

The significance of the situation:

The problem is worsening and during the dry season, when the water decreases, even everyday activities become challenging, such as bathing, washing clothes, and cooking. For this reason, many families are forced to buy their water. Another serious concern is that the river is also the cause of various infectious diseases.

Collaborative Goal:

We are looking for youth participation in this social commitment. A clean river and awakening of community conscience is important to the health of people and the environment. In addition, the intent is to incorporate the 3 main objectives of FUNDAHMER—social advocacy, training and recreation—in one project.

Project Objective:

  • To involve a group of youth in a community initiative to encourage social and environmental commitment.
  • To ensure the cleanliness of the Ticuma River to avoid increased pollution in the area.
  • To raise awareness through a campaign of cleaning and artistic expression that will benefit the community in regards to its natural resources.
  • To involve all sectors of society to work and collaborate in achieving a single goal.
  • To find a suitable location where garbage can be deposited.

Project Description:

The investigation will be realized by an analytical process in the areas around the Ticuma River. We will use a wheel of consciousness that has helped us thus far to analyze different situations within the community. We will also explore the situation of the river through observational drawings, mural painting, and subsequent analysis.

Partner Organization Collaboration:

The youth will carry out the activity with the help of Miguel Zepeda, Laura Smith, and two new supporters of the youth group - René and Janet. We will require the support of the board of Las Naranjeras, the mayor, and the community.

Planned Activities:

On Sunday June 15, 2008, we will depart from the Youth Center with approximately 18 children from Sacacoyo and San Antonio with the intention of cleaning the River Ticuma. This day, we will begin the Clean River project by sweeping and picking up trash in plastic bags and depositing them in a suitable location.

The following Sunday, we will leave from the same location with paint, brushes, and other art supplies to start a process of murals. These murals will raise awareness about our initiative and the importance of caring for this place and the environment.

Project Resources