San Francisco Saludable

San Francisco Saludable

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

San Francisco Saludable provides integrated waste management and basic sanitation solutions to the native Shipibo community San Francisco de Yarinacocha in the Peruvian Amazon.
Together with our education program, our work serves as the foundation for rural development and a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in the Amazon region.

About You
Project Street Address

Esq. Jr. San Martín y Jr. Lidia Pinedo

Project City

San Francisco de Yarinacocha

Project Province/State


Project Postal/Zip Code
Project Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on:


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What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1-5 years

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?


Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.

San Francisco Saludable provides integrated waste management and basic sanitation solutions to the native Shipibo community San Francisco de Yarinacocha in the Peruvian Amazon.
Together with our education program, our work serves as the foundation for rural development and a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in the Amazon region.

What makes your idea unique?

We designed a low-cost waste management model that fits the needs of rural communities in the Amazon. Our model also provides the foundation and framework for future development in the region through providing resources to innovative agricultural economic development solutions.
The uniqueness of our idea is that we have re-envisioned waste management to develop a model that is the first step in sustainable rural development. Most approaches see waste management as an end in itself or as a lineal system. The emphasis of our work, however, is to create a “cradle to cradle” resource cycle that mimics natural waste-free cycles. Recovery of resources, through treatment, can be used as the raw materials for sustainable development.
Compost, for example, is used to develop community gardens and improve agro-forestry productivity, thus providing sustainable economic opportunities and food security for populations that suffer from poverty and chronic malnutrition. In this way, our work sees waste management as the first step in providing sustainable solutions in areas ranging from soil conservation to economic development. Our approach is also unique. To begin, we work to reinforce land stewardship as prevention for further contamination and resource mismanagement. This is accomplished through community clean-ups and environmental education. Furthermore, our work is doing its small, yet still significant, part to combat climate change by recuperating degraded tropical soils.

What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)

Children & Youth , Boys' development , Education , Mentorship , Play , Youth development , Youth leadership , Development & Prosperity , Adult education , Community development , Conscious consumerism , Economic development , Employment , Food security , Income generation , Infrastructure , Mentorship , Poverty alleviation , Rural development , Social Enterprise , Sustainable development , Technology , Travel and tourism , Environment & Sustainability , Biodiversity , Climate change , Conservation , Energy conservation , Environmental justice , Green business , Green consumerism , Pollution , Renewable energy , Rural , Sustainable agriculture , Sustainable design , Waste and recycling , Health & Fitness , Food , Health education , Recreation , Sanitation , Human Rights & Peace , Food security , Indigenous cultures , Intercultural relations , Citizen participation , Citizen sector , Cultural preservation , Mentoring , Social work , Volunteerism , Youth leadership.

What impact have you had?

We have developed and implemented a simple yet effective waste collection and treatment service in the community of San Francisco. Our waste management model emphasizes source (in the home) separation of waste into three classes: organic materials, recyclables and non-reusable materials. The production of compost provides a valuable resource for local agriculture in a region with poor soils. The sale of recyclable materials provides a small portion of the income for the workers, and the sanitary disposal of waste materials reduces contamination and the risk of diseases for the population.
After the first 7 months of operation, approximately 95% of the households participate in our waste collection system. Through our resource recovery efforts we have gathered over 40 tons of organic garbage, which has produced approximately 10 metric tons of compost. Furthermore, we have over recovered over 2 tons of recyclable materials (which would have otherwise been burnt or thrown out) and reduced the amount of landfill waste by approximately 87%.
In terms of community involvement, 95% of community households have been trained in respect to integrated refuse management. Approximately 500 children have attended environmental education workshops and film screenings and 1,000 community members (adults and children) have participated in community-wide clean-ups.
In terms of project participation, we have created 4 permanent jobs and offered temporary employment to another 4 community members. Furthermore, we have provided mentoring and support to 6 young boys and adolescents who work as volunteers.

Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.

Our work addresses the problems associated from inadequate waste management in the community of San Francisco, such as contamination of air, water and soil, and preventable illnesses.
We also address the issue of impoverished soils, a result from the mismanagement of naturally poor soils, which has resulted in agricultural under-productivity and is one of the factors contributing to unemployment and poverty in the community. Similarly, we hope that this work will address the problems of malnutrition and food insecurity that arise from inadequate agricultural practices. We expect to do this by increasing productivity through soil regeneration with compost and sustainable agricultural practices.
Finally, our community outreach and educational efforts attempt to promote an entrepreneurial spirit that is based in sustainable practices. In essence, we hope to revert an attitude of disinterest and pessimism for the future that pervades among the population to an optimistic sentiment of how work and dedication can reap sustainable benefits.

Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.

Community outreach: through a multi-faceted education plan we are ensuring community comprehension of our project objectives. Service Implementation: We provide hands-on training to all personnel in all aspects of integrated waste management. Continual coordination with the community and local authorities has given us a very positive image within the community, while the visibility of our work and the results further aids our success. Project infrastructure was built together with the community through an award from the GDN. We continue to write for grants to cover fees as we begin replicating our model in the region. Org. sustainability strategy: We are developing a green business plan utilizing our compost and other recovered materials. We are developing a consulting service to share and expand our mission.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:

Local personnel will need to assume more responsibilities as the project evolves. We will have to strengthen our outreach efforts and coordinate the logistics of a pay system to charge for the collection service to cover personnel costs. Donations to continue our thrift shop will be crucial for financial shortfalls.
We must begin planting horticulture beds that will help feed us, and a one-hectare plot must start producing the cash crop sacha inchi as we also start agro-forestry efforts to help with our long-term sustainability. Additional grants must be applied for to cover personnel and community outreach costs, while we must also apply to become a formal organization with the Peruvian Public Registry.

Success in Year 2:

We will implement a larger horticulture garden model for cash crop production and sale within the community. We will also conduct a viability assessment study for a restaurant in the community to serve both locals and tourists, which will be stocked with the local produce from our garden. If the study is positive and start up capital is acquired, the restaurant, which will be another income source for the project, should be inaugurated by the end of the year. We will also develop a strategic social tourism plan focused around both national and international volunteering in the community.

Success in Year 3:

We will devote our third year to implementing our tourism plan and putting volunteers to work in different areas of the project. We will also carry out outreach efforts to present and implement our model in other communities. Developing ourselves into an organization that offers consulting services will be crucial to spreading our mission and methodology to other localities. The third year we must also continue monitoring and sustaining our prior investments, which, by this time, should include the sacha inchi and reforestation plots, a horticulture garden and a restaurant.

Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)

Yes, it is currently in development.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:

Any waste management plan depends on community participation and a well-informed populace is more apt to participate. To achieve this, culturally appropriate community outreach education is needed to promote and sustain participation. This is even more important for our work as we are promoting an integrated plan that, while relatively simple, demands understanding of multiple facets. Our outreach plan includes house-to-house canvassing, public announcements, educational and recycled crafts workshops, and the incorporation of an environmental education curriculum in the local schools that covers integrated waste management theory and practice.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:

Trained personnel, equipment and protective gear all incur costs that must be covered to assure appropriate operation. Selling recyclable materials helps to generate some income, but the regional market, due to isolation and the current world economic environment, is not sufficient to cover costs. Successful development of a for-profit entity within our organization will be needed to cover shortfalls. For this, we have been looking at short and long-term investments that use recovered resources to generate additional income. Such investments include: agro-forestry and horticulture projects aid

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:

The successful development of consulting services and media outlets to share our model with other communities in the region will be needed to ensure our organization’s growth. The development of our blog will continue to help us share our initiative, but it will be the organization of our consulting services that will result in the desired replication of our project throughout the Amazon region. We have shared our experience with one community in the nearby city of Yarina, and recently received invitations to work in a nearby district.

Describe the expected results of these actions.

These outlined stages will result in our sustainability and expansion of our development model. We expect our continued educational outreach to achieve a level of social consciousness that will permit us to charge and successfully collect a service fee for waste collection and treatment within San Francisco. This will provide a large boost in supporting our personnel.
The implementation of our for-profit initiatives will provide the funding to supplement any further operational costs for our project in San Francisco and provide resources to enhance our educational outreach. Our agro-forestry and horticulture plots will serve as demonstrative models to share with the local population as well as visitors from other communities.
Developing our consulting services will allow us to expand of our development model throughout the Amazon region, beginning with nearby communities such as the two annexes within the territory of San Francisco. These smaller Shipibo communities will serve as pilot studies to prepare us for entry into further communities.

What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

In 2004, when Brian first came to San Francisco for a few months and organized a handful of community clean-ups, he came out of the house he was staying one morning and looked out over the trash that had been collected the day before (it was laid out in the front yard because there was nowhere else to put it) and thought to himself “Now what do we with it?”. It then became apparent that some form of waste management was needed to keep the community clean. He returned in 2005 to develop a low-tech and ecological solution, and that is when he realized that the solution was based on the principal of natural cycles where waste is non-existent; that eliminating waste - even the idea of waste- was a vital step in sustainable societal development.

A further defining moment came when we realized that the income generated from the sale of recyclables would not be enough to sustain the project. This literally forced us to look for and design sustainability initiatives, which made us realize the grand potential of waste management as the starting point for a larger rural sustainable development plan. We began using our compost to plant some fruit trees and soon realized that we could embark on a pilot reforestation project. Now, we have plans to reforest 1 hectare to serve as a model for the community, we plan to develop a horticulture garden, implement a volunteer plan and even open a restaurant, all of which will generate employment and hopefully sustain our organization.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Due to his energetic spirit, highly motivated nature and his idealist outlook, Brian Best is the driving force of the SFS team. Brian has been working on waste management issues in San Francisco since 2004, where he arrived after receiving an invitation from one of the community authorities. After starting his work, he realized that the waste management problem could not be solved with sporadic activities and clean-ups, but required an integrated approach in which “waste” was regarded as a resource to be recovered.
Brian introduced NGO Ciudad Saludable to San Francisco in 2006 and, after they designed the plan for an integrated waste management program, he served as the project’s technical adviser and in now the coordinator.
Diego Garcia Montúfar, of Lima, Peru, is a true agent for change, borne from an education that placed high value on volunteerism. Fresh out of high school, on a volunteer experience in San Francisco in 2005 he met Brian and began collaborating on a waste management solution for the community. Since then he has dedicated his university studies at Swathmore College to sustainable and organizational development. He was awarded a Lang Opportunity Scholarship to develop our innovation and in 2007 he visited 4 waste management projects in Peru with Brian as an intern with Ciudad Saludable. In 2008 he began working on the project as the administrative and outreach adviser. Currently he is continuing his studies in the US while helping with fundraising efforts.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

We first heard about Changemakers from Jennifer Magee, who serves as Diego’s advisor at Swarthmore College. Jennifer directs the Lang Opportunity Scholars program, which partly funded the San Francisco Saludable project.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The biggest threat to our project is a lack of commitment and initiative from our personnel. We have seen many projects in San Francisco fail once the organization leaves and all the burden of the work is placed on the locals. We are addressing this issue by creating higher positions so that our workers can be promoted and transition into acquiring more responsibilities. Furthermore, the waste management service in San Francisco will become an independent small business that will be owned by the workers who will be fully responsible for its execution. Thus, once the project begins generating a livable wage for which they alone are responsible, we hope that they will provide the incentive needed to continue the work.
Similarly, we will continue to provide institutional support and guidance to the workers as we engage in other projects in the upcoming years. Some of the failures we have witnessed arose because organizations left the project site after one year or less. We believe that organizations must have a continued presence at the project site for at least two years.
We could also fail if we are unable to involve the community in our efforts. A number of factors could play against us: attention to cultural relevance, distrust and jealousy from community gossip, etc. Our strong outreach efforts and transparency, however, are geared to minimize these risks by creating a positive image of the project in the community and foster comprehension of our goals and accomplishments.

Financing source
If yes, provide organization name.

Yes, the Peruvian NGO Ciudad Saludable.

How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)

More than 5 years.

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Not currently, but we have a diverse network of advisors.

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)


The Story
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Ciudad Saludable: As our parent organization, this partnership has been vital to our development through technical and organizational support.
Association for Children and Their Environment (ANIA): Their experience with environmental education has complemented our educational outreach and their collaboration with our horticulture project will be very important.
AMASOA: Their presence in San Francisco gives us a support base. Our collaboration enable us to embark on more agricultural projects.
Amanco Peru S.A.: they donated a bio-digester that will provide cooking gas for the high school lunch hall, and serve as an educational tool for agricultural innovations.
Regional Gov: collaboration with an agro-forestry project in the community to plant a 1hec. demonstration forest.
DICETUR: We are collaborating on a composting toilet project. This is critical to address basic sanitation.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?

5 Employees, 5 local & 2 international volunteers.

What is your organization's business classification?

Not registered

Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)