EWB-OSU began working with the communities of Las Mercedes and El Naranjito, El Salvador, in 2006. The initial connection between EWB-OSU and the community was fasciliated through Eric Anderson, the first Peace Corps volunteer who lived in the community. During the initial phase of the project, a water board was formed after the first assessment trip. Four officers were elected as President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. Other members, including two women, were selected as public liaisons. The water board was responsible for making sure the systems EWB-OSU helped to implement were maintained in addition to monitoring the health of the community, distributing Potters for Peace filters as needed, and acting as the point of contact in the community. Contact was made with a Salvadoran Rotary club in the Fall of 2009. The travelers met with Rotary chapter members to discuss the project in San Salvador. Three members of the Rotary chapter were invited to the community to verify our construction process and meet the community.
In six years of partnership with the community, EWB-OSU made four assessment trips, four implementation trips, and one final monitoring trip to address water quality and accessibility issues in the communities. Due to the diversity and dispersed nature of sub-communities in the area, EWB-OSU phased the overall development approach into several implementation trips, in order to ensure that the most appropriate solution was applied to each unique situation.