In 2015, CoCoDA introduced the idea of composting latrines in several communities in Nicaragua. An alternative to traditional latrines, composting latrines both protect the watershed and provide the opportunity to use the waste for fertilizer for agriculture.

Initially, CoCoDA established six composting latrine demonstration sites in four different communities to introduce the approach and provide training. After visiting the sites to evaluate how the communities were using the composting latrines, CoCoDA assisted in the construction of latrines in houses with the help of the Nicaragua Community Movement (MCN), CoCoDA’s local partner.

The community of Aguas Calientes, in the municipality of Somoto, was chosen to pilot the residential composting latrine project. In April of 2019, CoCoDA invested $3100 to build the first four residential composting latrines.

This environmentally friendly approach to sanitation is rare in Nicaragua and could alleviate some public health issues. This initial investment was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist.