Families served in 2016: 996
- Date when Habitat started working in the country: August 1992
- Families served: 25,764
- Volunteers hosted: 17,058 national volunteers; 8,120 international volunteers
- Housing solutions: Housing 10,014
- Housing improvements: 15,750
Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador
Habitat for Humanity was founded in El Salvador In 1992, and has provided housing solutions for 25,764 families. Our goal is to continue serving 944,000 families that make up the housing deficit in El Salvador.
Housing need in El Salvador
El Salvador is, at once, the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The housing shortage affects more than 944,000 families and continues to grow as the population increases. That statistic means that 6 out of 10 families live in inadequate housing. With approximately 31.9% of the population living in relative or extreme poverty, many families do not have access to financing to improve their homes. Salvadoran families and their homes are vulnerable to threats such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and floods. In addition, a 12-year civil war resulted in the loss of some 75,000 lives and the displacement of many families. Decades later, complications with land legalization limit access to adequate housing. In addition, social violence is prompting many families to leave their homes and communities.
Habitat’s contribution in El Salvador
Habitat for Humanity El Salvador advocates adequate housing and promotes sustainable and transformative community development. Through accessible loans, Habitat El Salvador uses housing as a means to help families overcome poverty. For low-income families, access to adequate housing through housing construction or improvements can be a catalyst that contributes to the integral development of the family, for the benefit of their welfare, education and health.
Building homes and communities: Habitat El Salvador offers a variety of housing solutions to meet the needs of Salvadoran families including: assistance in the legalization of land, construction and improvement of homes, houses that can be progressively extended and lighting kits that include solar panels. By building a permanent home they can call their own, families contribute their sweat and the dedication of national and international volunteers. Our community projects promote the integral development of groups of landless families, who are in extreme poverty and that, therefore, require long-term intervention. A total of 8 community projects have been developed in association with agents such as local governments, foundations, private companies, churches, etc. These projects include land, housing, basic services, social infrastructure, vocational and business training, among others.
Building hope: Habitat El Salvador has worked in partnership with other organizations to respond to families affected by natural disasters through home improvement, building houses, and the provision of permanent health solutions. We continue to work with various sectors of civil society, including the Church, to defend housing as a basic human right that contributes to the transformation of individuals, families and communities.
Capability development: Recognizing that poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon, Habitat El Salvador offers Services to Access Housing (Servicios de Acceso a la Vivienda - SAV), a series of training sessions that strengthen the knowledge and skills of families to properly manage the limited resources available to them. Topics include: Financial Education, Construction, Risk Management and Community Development. During the construction or improvement of their homes, it provides families technical assistance in construction, in order to ensure efficient investment of family resources and construction quality, reduce or mitigate the risks of disaster, and offer alternatives for progressive improvement.
Meet a Habitat family
Prudencio and Margarita Ayala Corvera are two senior siblings in the municipality of Tecoluca, department of San Vicente. Theirs is a low income family and they had to leave their hometown because of the civil war that engulfed El Salvador in the eighties. For more than 20 years they had no access to a home. They lived in different cities in rented houses. For two years they have lived in an inadequate house of 4x4 meters, which is built with sheet, tile roof and without floors. The land belongs to a relative, who gave the space for them to live.
The Congregation of the Sisters Franciscan Sisters met the case of Corvera brothers and contacted Habitat El Salvador to provide adequate housing solution. A full subsidy was granted to them because of their extreme poverty.
In January 2016, Habitat for Humanity El Salvador delivered the house to Prudencio and Margarita. The story of the Corveras is an example of how, it is possible to improve the quality of life of families that do not have adequate housing, with the cooperation of the community. Prudencio and Margarita are deeply grateful for all the support, which enabled them to have access to a more suitable place to live.
What you can do
You can help families in El Salvador living in inadequate houses by taking one of the following actions:
Volunteer: Join one of Global Village’s trips to El Salvador or organize your own group.
To learn more about projects in El Salvador,please contact:
Luis Viscarra, Volunteerism Coordinator