Upcoming Interfaith Community Builders Group Trip to El Salvador!

The Interfaith Community Builders Group (ICBG) is planning its’ 7th trip to El Salvador from July 14-22, 2012.

This trip, the ICBG will be building latrines in 3 potential communities (located near our sister community of Las Anonas de Santa Cruz).

Below we are including the details of the trip.  If you are interested, please contact Lance Llaver at romero-interfaith-center@googlegroups.com.


Location:  El Salto, San Francisco Angulo and Cantarrana–three villages near Las Anonas in the San Vicente region of El Salvador, several hours drive from San Salvador, the capital (where we fly into/out of to the US).

Project:  Work with the communities to build up to a total of 90 new latrines.  Provide funds for the communities to complete the project through September.  Latrines cost ~$220 each.  Total cost for 90 latrines: ~$19,500.   (Noted in case anyone wants to support the work through a donation toward the building costs (see below)–but we are fund-raising separately for this trip; builders are not required to donate toward the building costs.)

Dates:  Depart Saturday, July 14; Return Sunday, July 22, 2012.

General itinerary:  Night of July 14–San Salvador (guest house); Sunday, July 15 to Friday, July 20–San Vicente (villages); Return to San Salvador Friday afternoon, July 20.  Nights of July 20-21 in San Salvador (guest house).  Time in San Salvador may include visiting UCA (University of Central America); Archbishop Oscar Romero’s house and church; a shopping bazaar and tile works; and/or other activities (TBD).

Benefits (from the local CRIPDES community group proposal):

  • Reduce water-born disease through composting latrines;
  • Improve living conditions for 90 families;
  • Improve families’ knowledge of waste management (via educational trainings);
  • Reduce environmental contamination caused by open air defecation;
  • Strengthen organizing and active participation in the communities; and
  • Build infrastructure and project sustainability.

Estimated individual cost:  ~$1,300-$1,400/person (including urban/rural lodging/food/water/transportation/misc.; USESSC delegation fee and airfare).  These projected costs are from in-country estimates provided by USESSC and airfares as of 3/15/12 [$750].  You may also have additional costs for necessary inoculations, passport and airport tax.  Some scholarship funds are available.

Guidelines:  Participants under 18 years old must have appropriate supervision (i.e., a parent or guardian).

Monitoring organizations:  CRIPDES SV; US-El Salvador Sister Cities; and Romero Interfaith Center in conjunction with the ICBG.  (Mishkan Shalom, St. Vincent de Paul Church and Tabernacle United Church form the Romero Interfaith Center in Philadelphia.)

ICBG in El Salvador:  The ICBG is now in its 15th year of community building; and this will be the group’s seventh trip to El Salvador.  In previous years, we have helped build hurricane/earthquake resistant houses (post-Hurricane Mitch) in Las Anonas (1999); a post-earthquake church in Las Anonas (2001); a community building in La Joya (2003); a community building in El Porvenir (2005); a community building in El MIlagro (2007); and stick-built village houses to alleviate family overcrowding in Las Anonas (2009).

Additional considerations:  Living conditions are very rudimentary–sleeping bags, hammocks, shared quarters, outhouses, basic “shower” facilities without hot water; the community cooks for us so no “special order” requests are possible (normally there are vegetarian options at each meal); very hot and humid day and night–limited electricity and certainly no a.c. in the village(s).  Lots of bugs.  Animals making sound during the night.  This continues to be an awesome and life-changing experience with sisters and brothers in El Salvador, several hours drive from San Salvador, but it is also physically demanding, so potential participants need to take note.

If you are interested in participating in this trip or need additional information, please respond to Lance Laver at llaver4@comcast.net or 610-668-9845.  

Note:  If you cannot participate and would like to support the project financially, you can “purchase” a latrine for $220 or make a donation of your choice.  Please forward checks to the synagogue made out to “Mishkan Shalom” and mark on the memo line: “Interfaith Building Group Fund.”


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