While we are thrilled to be able to take five months out of our daily lives to take on the challenge of hiking a beautiful nationally renowned trail, we recognize the privilege that comes with being able to take that amount of time out of our lives simply to hike. As a result, we decided to use our trek to create awareness of public health issues (water, sanitation, nutrition) in the developing world and raise funds that will directly support rural villages in Bolivia through a small, local non-profit called Etta Projects.
Etta Projects (www.ettaprojects.org) is a great non-profit organization based out of Tacoma, WA designed to alleviate poverty through collaborating with and empowering communities in rural villages in Montero, Bolivia. The organization focuses on five program areas: safe water and sanitation, health, nutrition, leadership and community outreach. Some of the projects that they have worked on include:
- improving water quality by establishing local water and sanitation committees and teaching families to build their own water purification systems with simple filtration systems
- building local capacity and skills by teaching families how to construct and maintain safe sanitation systems such as ecological latrines
- generating sustainable income and improving nutrition through school gardens
- helping design and organize community-driven projects for health promotion, female leadership and empowerment
We chose to collaborate with Etta Projects because we agree with their philosophy of sustainable development: the conviction that local people know their needs best and that they also have the power to meet those needs.
Over the course of our hike along the PCT, we (Gus and Elena) are each attempting to raise a goal amount of one dollar per mile to contribute towards Etta Projects: $2,663 each or $5,326 combined. All of the donations go directly to Etta Projects as the trip is self-financed.
Please consider donating any amount to our online fundraising campaign found at:
Donating to Etta Projects will impact countless families in Bolivia as the organization facilitates sustainable development in the local communities. For example, $100 buys a whole community a first aid kit. $195 provides a hygiene corner for children’s classrooms. $350 donates 10 varieties of seeds and gardening tools to provide a sustainable nutritious food source for students. $380 provides the materials for a composting latrine in order to improve sanitation.
Any donation amount would be greatly appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, receipts are available upon request.
To learn more about the awesome things that Etta Projects is doing, or get involved with this fantastic organization, visit their website at http://www.ettaprojects.org.