Habitat for Humanity El Salvador
Habitat's work in El Salvador
El Salvador News and Stories
Housing need in El Salvador
After being struck by recent natural disasters, the housing need increased rapidly in El Salvador, both in urban and rural areas. Of the total number of houses affected, 60 percent corresponded to homes with an income of up to two minimum wages, and the remaining 40 percent are households with incomes greater than two minimum wages.
El Salvador is still in the process of rebuilding. According to data provided by the Vice Ministry of Housing, the country’s current qualitative and quantitative deficit totals 630,000 houses, or 51 percent of the total population.
Local governments, state institutions, non-governmental organizations and international organizations have made great efforts to respond to the housing needs of affected families. Support from these institutions concentrate on the most affected zones.
Through the work carried out by its affiliate branches, Habitat El Salvador has reached both sectors, concentrating its efforts on providing support to those families in need of adequate housing, without discrimination.
*One monthly minimum wage in El Salvador is US$144, so a family earning two minimum wages would have a monthly household income of US$288.
Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador
Habitat for Humanity El Salvador built its first 29 houses in 1992, in the department of Santa Ana. Since then, much program renovation and organizational growth have taken place. As a result, the national organization has been able to provide increasingly more effective responses to the frequent loss of homes to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and the earthquakes in 2001.
The national organization’s work is performed through a central national office and six branches in Santa Ana, Sonsonate, San Salvador, San Vicente, Usulután and La Paz.
Habitat for Humanity El Salvador supports several initiatives, in addition to traditional home construction.
Thrivent Builds in El Salvador Community: This project focuses on housing, land tenure, and volunteer mobilization and partners with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to improve the quality of life of low-income, landless Salvadoran families by building 75 homes, using Thrivent and local volunteers.
Charlotte Community: In partnership with Habitat Charlotte (North Carolina), Habitat for Humanity El Salvador provided land, electricity, potable water, septic systems, green areas, a multi-use salon and a nursery for 60 low-income families. Learn more
New Valley Community: Habitat became the catalyst for a housing project to benefit families that were displaced to Honduras during the civil war and returned in the late 1980’s. In this project, the community of Valle Nuevo has already invested a credit allowance of US$46,000 to eradicate substandard housing. During phase III, in partnership with Shalom Mission Communities and Habitat for Humanity’s affiliate Waco, they will build 20 more houses in a two year period.
Ahuachapan Credit Subsidy Project: In early 2007, when a seismic swarm (a series of localized earthquakes) damaged more that 3000 houses in Ahuachpan, Habitat for Humanity El Salvador was the first to build permanent houses for the affected families. In 2007, during Phase I of the project, 100 houses were completed in the 5 areas most affected by the disaster. Habitat El Salvador is in partnership with the Swiss foundation, Pro-Victimis in executing Phase II, during which they will build another 100 houses.
Financial education: This project is aimed at educating and accompanying partner families in the planning and administration of their home economy. The manuals and methodology used are the result of a project designed by Habitat for Humanity International and financed by Citi Foundation. Through a series of workshops, families learn to administer their income and expenses, and learn to design a budget, analyze and control their expenses, and follow a savings plan. Families are also informed about the risks and advantages of taking out loans with Habitat for Humanity or other organizations.
Complete houses: In addition to the projects above, Habitat for Humanity El Salvador continues to build complete homes. Homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, helping to build their houses and the houses of others, together with volunteers. Their monthly payments go into a Local Rotating Fund, which allows the construction of new homes.
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.