potters

Potters for Peace's work with rural people in Central America is exemplary.

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Rural Opportunities Know No Boundaries

Cambridge, Wisconsin

October 28, 2016

The Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) met with Potters for Peace (PfP) staff and board members on Friday, October 28th to work on an asset development framework for PfP. Organizational sustainability is an issue for all nonprofits, and RSC is committed to assisting rural-based organizations with planning, endowment building and planned giving. Potters for Peace has established a new endowment with a support program that is offered by RSC in collaboration with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Potters for Peace is a US-based non-profit that works in two clay-related fields: working with subsistence potters in Central America and working throughout the world to assist with the establishment of factories that produce ceramic water filters.

In Central America PfP offers support, solidarity and friendship to potters in order to help them preserve their local traditions and increase their incomes. The vast majority of potters in Central America are rural women and the core work for Potters for Peace has always been assisting these hard-working people by providing tools, equipment, supplies and advice.

Potters for Peace has been doing this work since it was established in Nicaragua in 1986.

Since 1998, representatives of Potters for Peace have traveled the world assisting with the establishment of small factories or workshops that produce a low-cost ceramic water filter that can bring clean, potable water to those who need it most. We do not make, store or distribute ceramic water filters nor do we operate filter production facilities. Instead, we assist local partners to set up their own filter production and distribution facilities.

The filter design that PfP uses was developed in Guatemala in 1981 by Dr. Fernando Mazariegos of the Central American Industrial Research Institute (ICAITI) in Guatemala. Mazariegos’ goal was to make bacterially contaminated water safe for the poorest of the poor by developing a low-cost filter that could be fabricated at the community level.

In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch, one of the most destructive hurricanes ever recorded, tore through Central America. Safe water was urgently needed as supply systems (already of borderline capacity and efficiency) had been badly damaged. This prompted Potters for Peace to use the Mazariegos design to begin a Ceramic Water Filter production workshop in Nicaragua.

Here is short film about Potters for Peace:

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