Salud Para el Pueblo, “Health for the People” has a seventeen year history of service to communities throughout western Ecuador.  It was developed in cooperation with local leadership and Public Health International, (PHI) a non-profit corporation.  Salud’s objectives are to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases such as cholera, dengue fever, malaria, and diarrheal illness among indigenous populations in developing countries and areas.

Salud’s organizational model is based on appointed and elected public health committees chosen from community leadership. Each Salud community has a committee.  Trained by public health professionals under PHI’s guidance, the committees have worked in Ecuador to build 14,000 latrines, develop clean-water systems, and manage the proper disposition of solid waste.  Under Salud’s leadership, two self-sustaining land-fill systems, (the first outside of Ecuador’s capital) have been established, including regular trash pick-up services.

Working under contract with local governments, Salud now serves a population of 150,000 in more than 100 villages.  Salud’s governance also includes supervision of village cleanliness, managed under the watchful eyes of volunteers.   Regional and local Health Education workshops, service to local schools, and encouragement of community development are by-products of Salud’s services. Salud has eliminated cholera from its populations, who also are benefiting from demonstrable reduction in debilitating infectious diseases.

Salud has received recognition from the UN Commission for Sustainable Development, the American Public Health Association, the World Bank, and the Rotary International Foundation.  Through its reliance on local leadership strength, Salud builds teaching commitment and its example is attracting an expanding community base throughout Ecuador. There us a waiting list for new projects requested by many local governments and communities.  At present, there are Salud projects under way in Nicaragua, Peru and Honduras.