Habitat for Humanity El Salvador
Habitat's work in El Salvador
El Salvador News and Stories
Housing need in El Salvador
With a population of 6.1 million, El Salvador is both the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. Roughly 3 million Salvadorans have left the country to look for better opportunities. The housing deficit exceeds 944,000 units and continues to grow as the population increases. That statistic translates to 6 out of 10 families living in inadequate housing, such as shacks built of plastic and corrugated sheet metal, or overcrowded conditions with extended family.
With approximately 36.5 percent of the population living in relative or extreme poverty, many families don’t have access to financing for better housing. Salvadoran families and their homes also are vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and flooding. In addition, a 12-year civil war that ended in 1992 killed roughly 75,000 people and displaced many families. Decades later, complications with land legalization limit access to adequate housing, and social violence continues to drive many families from their homes.
Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador
Habitat for Humanity was founded in El Salvador in 1992 and has facilitated housing solutions for more than 20,476 families. We aim to continue serving the 944,000 families who make up El Salvador’s housing deficit. Learn more at habitatelsalvador.org.sv.
Habitat’s contribution in El Salvador
Habitat for Humanity El Salvador advocates for adequate housing and drives transforming and sustainable community development. Through accessible credits, we use housing as a means to help families overcome poverty. When low-income families have access to an adequate home through home construction or an improvement, it can be a catalyst that contributes to the family’s overall development, benefiting their welfare, education and health.
Building homes and communities: We offer a variety of housing solutions in order to respond to the different needs of Salvadoran families, including assisting with land legalization, home construction and improvements; building core houses intended for progressive expansion; and providing illumination kits that include solar panels. Families contribute sweat equity while building a permanent home of their own alongside national and international volunteers.
Community projects promote comprehensive development among groups of families with no land, or those who are in extreme poverty and require long-term intervention. Nine community projects, covering such areas as land access, basic services, social infrastructure, vocational training and entrepreneurship, have been developed in partnership with local governments, foundations, private companies and churches.
Building capacity: Recognizing that poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon, we offer Housing Support Services, a set of training sessions to help families manage the limited resources available to them. Topics include financial education, construction, disaster risk management and community development.
During the construction or improvement of their homes, we provide families with Construction Technical Assistance to ensure construction quality and efficient investment of family resources, reduce or mitigate disaster risks, and provide alternatives for progressive improvement.
Building hope: Working in partnership with other organizations, Habitat El Salvador responds to families affected by natural disasters through home improvements, house construction, and the provision of permanent sanitary solutions. We continue to collaborate with various sectors of civil society, including churches through our Faith Partnerships Program, as we advocate for housing as a basic human right.
Meet a Habitat family
Sonia Maribel Solís Guerrero lives in Mercedez Umaña in the department of Usulután with her husband, Héctor Saúl, and her mother, Santo Josefina Solís. Sonia and Héctor have two children, Marlyn Nicole, 9, and Héctor Saúl, 7. The family had been living in a two-room adobe house with a tin roof, a dirt floor, a latrine, and doors with no locks. With no way to secure the house, someone always had to be at home to guard their belongings.
They learned about Habitat El Salvador when the municipal government invited the community to an informational meeting. Soon after, they were approved for a loan and Héctor Saúl Sr. began building alongside volunteers. The new home was completed in June 2014.
Sonia said her daughter had always dreamed of a house with a real floor, and now the whole family is enjoying daily life with less dust. In addition to feeling safer from the elements with a roof that doesn’t leak, they have a greater sense of security. Now they sleep more soundly and can leave their home unattended.
To donate in-line, visit: http://www.habitatelsalvador.org.sv/donar/donaciones-desde-el-extranjero/en
To learn more about Habitat projects in El Salvador, please contact us:
Luis Viscarra, Volunteer Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanessa Albanez, International Donor Relations Officer email@example.com