Charitable projects have been set up in an effort to help improve the health care and education of people living there, but when Warren FitzGerald and Jess Rothenburger (a writer and international development ‘nerd’ respectively) first volunteered here they realised in order to truly help the community they had to first find out what the people themselves thought they needed.

So they went to live and work with the locals, scavenging for recyclables in the garbage, and it was just the start of a journey of connections, joy, tears and illness that would lead them to question the very meaning of wealth and poverty. Not only would they learn about surviving from a dump, but also about the endurance of the human spirit and the preserving of dignity. 

Gringos in the Garbage is the film they made about this experience, 25% of any profit from which goes directly to the community of El Limonal to help their own development.

In the wake of the 1998 Hurricane Mitch, thousands of people were temporarily located to live on the margins of the city of Chinandega, Nicaragua in what is locally known as the ‘circle of death,’ living between the dump, a cemetery and a sewerage plant. More than two decades have passed and the community of ‘El Limonal’ remains at the dump, and intends to stay.

The Global Solidarity Group is the non-profit organization which they formed as a vehicle to direct this money and other donations to the community. The response to the film and community which stars in it has been so powerful that El Limonnal is already seeing tangible positive change on a scale the Gringos never imagined. For example, in partnership with the local government in Chinandega, the GSG can take your donation of just £250 ($300) and build an entire concrete house for a family that has since 1998 had to make do with a metal shack! So get involved or learn more here!