Neatwork is an Agua Para La Vida (APLV) software tool for the design and the simulation of networks for the distribution of water by gravity through protected pipes. This software complies with the specific requirements for the distribution of drinking water for villages that can be dispersed and is designed for users who are neither practiced designers nor engineers. It offers the following advantages: Read more about Neatwork

2014 Annual APLV Newsletter

The 2014 Annual APLV Newsletter (pdf, 1.5MB) has arrived - with all the info about this year's projects. Congratulations on a great year, Nica Team! Read more about 2014 Annual APLV Newsletter

Stages of an APLV Project, Step-by-step

First, the Request

The first step in a project is that the community must send a request letter (in Spanish, a solicitud). This letter provides the details about the community, including the number of families, possible water sources, names of the heads of household, estimated population, and the names of the leaders fo the community. It may also include a basic map of the community and possible water sources. 

Visit of the Water technician

At this point, an APLV water technician will visit the community and examine

  • Water sources, their quality and quantity.
  • The spirit of the community and its organization and attitudes.
  • Overall, the general possibility of project success.

Community Reports about Water Flow

At this point the community has to report each week of the dry season the water levels at the water source(s). This does two things. It demonstrates the commitment and follow-through of the community leaders, and also provides key input about the technical viability of the project.

Visit from the Full APLV Team Read more about Stages of an APLV Project, Step-by-step

APLV Seeking Professor for the ETAP (Position filled!)

Update: We've happy to announce that Alberto Diego de Gómez is the new professor for the 6th promotion of the ETAP school!

APLV is seeking an instructor for the ETAP, our Potable Water Technical School.  This is a great opportunity for a civil engineer to make a clear, sustainable contribution to rural water development in Central America.

  Read more about APLV Seeking Professor for the ETAP (Position filled!)

The Case for ETAP, A Special Technical School

Drinking Water Access in the Developing World: The Case for ETAP, A Special Technical School

This article by APLV co-founder Gilles Corcos was published in the September 2010 issue of  Water Resources Impact, a publication of the American Water Resources Association,  and is reprinted here by their gracious permission.

Agua Para La Vida (APLV, "Water for Life" in English) is one of many NGOs intent upon helping the rural population of developing countries handle the problem, both old and urgent, of access to unpolluted water. APLV has been working for 24 years in the Central American country of Nicaragua, but since 1995 it has adopted a point of view which, while perhaps not unique, is worth presenting because it leads to a development model that is far from the usual ones.

APLV, which considers access by all people to clean water as a basic (albeit massively denied) right, recognizes that material, technical, and administrative help cannot be expected to come to poor countries from abroad forever. An important element in shortening the time required for poor rural populations to be supplied with decent drinking water is to maximize the contribution that the local population itself can make to this development. The end goal is in fact to ensure that the development units created in the developing countries become autonomous. Read more about The Case for ETAP, A Special Technical School

Donor visits to Nicaragua


Agua Para La Vida (Water for Life in English) welcomes to Nicaragua the donors who have sponsored two potable water and sanitation projects in the last year. 


Res Pública, of France, sponsored the potable water and sanitation project for the Caño Seco community, which benefited 88 families in this rural area of the Siuna municipality in the Región Autònomqel Atlántico Norte (RAAN). Tierry Sciara, the representative of Res Pública, will attend the formal handover ceremony in that community, on March 12, 2012. In addition, the Ambassador of France to Nicaragua will be present as well as the local municipal authorities of Siuna. Caño Seco is the fifth community potable water and sanitation project sponsored by Res Pública.


Then on March 21, 2012, Bill McQueeney, the representative of Rural Water Ventures, will be present along with dignitaries of the Matiguás municipality for the formal handover of the Lírio de los Valle project Matiguás. This project benefited 20 families.  Rural Water Ventures has now sponsored an amazing 17 community water projects. 


The APLV team thanks all donors for executing projects by means of this organization. Every rural community desperately needs clean, healthy water to drink and we appreciate very much your participation in this important development happen.


Hugs and thanks to our donor friends, and we invite you to continue working with us for the health of families in rural Nicaragua.


Agua Para La Vida


  Read more about Donor visits to Nicaragua

The ETAP, APLV's Water Technician School

The ETAP (Escuela Técnica de Agua Potable in Spanish, or Potable Water Technical School) is a cornerstone of APLV's sustainability program.  APLV Nicaragua trains its own water technicians, turning out a new class of eight or so local experts every two years or so. These technicians come from rural, agricultural areas all over Nicaragua. They grew up in the very villages that they'll be developing water systems for, and lived the life of the communities where they serve.

The ETAP started with a class of five students in the mid-1990's (see the history of the ETAP), and is typically a program of slightly more than two years. APLV advertises through the municipalities and NGOs all over Nicaragua to attract the cream of the crop of graduating high school seniors. Applicants must be high school graduates, be from rural areas, and have scarce financial resources. Eight students are accepted into each two-year program.

We were delighted to be able to spend an afternoon with the current class of 7 students who are just finishing up their program and wanted to share a little bit about them. They've spent just over two years studying and will complete their classwork in March, 2012, after which they'll spend a few months in the field working on APLV projects.

The six young men and one woman told much the same story of how they arrived at the school. Each was from a rural, agricultural area and finished high school successfully, but had few options to go forward with education because there was no money available. Each had the skills to manage cattle or raise beans, knew how to use a horse to do whatever was needed, and was completely ready for a life of agriculture, near the family, in a fairly sheltered and yet challenging world, but wanted to do something more. They had to send the school a letter of application, and then, having passed that round in the selection process, had to travel all the way to Rio Blanco for the entrance examination. For most, this was the most significant travel of their lives. And of course, once they were accepted, it meant coming to Rio Blanco and living in the dormitory accommodations of the school for two years. Can you imagine being the single woman in that dormitory? She says it was one of the primary challenges.

The academic rigor is striking - These students attend class from 8-12am and 2-5pm five days each week, for more than two years.  The school's intent is all about mastery, not just exposure to the material, and they study social organization, mathematics (through trigonometry, calculus, and many water-oriented specialties), computer use, surveying, health, environmental topics, physics, hydraulics, and quite a selection of other topics. The end goal, of course, is to be able to design and lead implementation of a water project in a rural community. They have to be able to use Autocad and specialty water design software alongside the more mundane Microsoft Word and Excel, have to be understand how to organize a community to construct a water project and how to write reports about it.

Latest News from APLV

Agua Para La Vida in Rio Blanco received visits from two friends and donors from the US.

January 2-10, 2012: Randy Fay and Nancy Lewis

Randy Fay and Nancy Lewis, friends of APLV, with Jaime Alonso (Technical Directory) and Esteban Cantillano (Project Followup Director) visited San Isidro, El Carmen, El Carrizal, and La Enea. They wrote about each of the projects on the website.

January 18: Laird Norton Family Foundation

10 people from the Laird Norton Family Foundation (donrs) visited La Esperanza together with Jaime Alonso, Esteban Cantillano, and Denis and Cecilia Barea (Directors of the ETAP). The family members and the La Esperanza committee met together and discussed the project completed in this community.

Caño Seco, Siuna RAAN.

The Caño Seco project is in the final stage of execution, with the official delivery to the community scheduled for 12 March, 2012, with Thierry Sciari (representative of Res Publica, France), the donor present.

ETAP (Technical School for Potable Water) - APLV

The ETAP is in the final phases of receiving applications for the Water Technicians course for 2012-2015.

Young people interested in studying this technical program still have a short time to send their applications via the APLV office in Rio Blanco. They can contact Denis and Cecilia Barea, directors of the ETAP, at 2778-0538, Cel: 84953535. Read more about Latest News from APLV

Rehabilitation of APLV Projects


(Translated from the Spanish language original by Esteban Cantillano)

APLV has been building potable water and sanitation projects in remote communities in Nicaragua since 1987. Those projects have helped thousands of families to reduce water-borne illnesses. The projects themselves are maintained on a day-to-day basis by the community itself, which was trained by APLV water technicians and health and environmental promoters. Massive changes in community lifestyle have resulted, with communities using pure water, improved personal cleanliness, and completely changed relationship with the environment.

Why Projects Have to be Rehabilitated

Many changes take place as a project goes through its useful life. Population increases, with new families moving in and family growth, community development and change, new forms of income, and new types of work. Read more about Rehabilitation of APLV Projects


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