If you were to travel to the southwest region in El Salvador, you would find a small fishing village called Metalio. This beautiful fishing village gets hit with an immense amount of rain each year that causes long-term problems for its residents. In a community where 40 percent of its population lives in extreme poverty (making less than $2 per capita per day), these severe weather patterns impact the daily lives of people.
These compounding factors place 4,500 residents into extremely vulnerable situations. In order for this community to be lifted and made stronger when natural disasters and life realities occur, we have to focus on partnering with a community agent that is ready to implement sustainable solutions that work towards the long-term health and wellbeing of their community.
In this fishing village, this community agent is the church called Rosa de Saron. With both the leadership of their pastor, Fermin Sanchez Hernandez, and their collaboration with ENLACE, they have been able to identify the greatest needs in their community and begin imagining a more sustainable future.
As they think through the greatest needs in their community, they know that the solutions for these issues have to follow three primary guidelines.
The projects they choose are:
1. Maintained by their community’s residents
2. Long-term solutions to situations not just quick fixes
3. Do not compromise the future while making the present healthier
This can help us pose the question, “What does sustainability look like in my community?” If you are asking these three things as you decide on what projects to focus on as a community, your outcomes and success will only grow!