Potters for Peace is a US-based non-profit that works in two clay-related fields: working with subsistence potters in Central America and working throughout the world to assist with the establishment of factories that produce ceramic water filters.
Our Work with Potters
In Central America we offer support, solidarity and friendship to potters in order to help them preserve their local traditions and increase their incomes. The vast majority of potters in Central America are rural women and the core work for Potters for Peace has always been assisting these hard-working people by providing tools, equipment, supplies and advice.
Potters for Peace has been doing this work since it was established in Nicaragua in 1986.
Our Ceramic Water Filter Project
Since 1998, representatives of Potters for Peace have traveled the world assisting with the establishment of small factories or workshops that produce a low-cost ceramic water filter that can bring clean, potable water to those who need it most. We do not make, store or distribute ceramic water filters nor do we operate filter production facilities. Instead, we assist local partners to set up their own filter production and distribution facilities.
The filter design that we use was developed in Guatemala in 1981 by Dr. Fernando Mazariegos of the Central American Industrial Research Institute (ICAITI) in Guatemala. Mazariegos’ goal was to make bacterially contaminated water safe for the poorest of the poor by developing a low-cost filter that could be fabricated at the community level.
In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch, one of the most destructive hurricanes ever recorded, tore through Central America. Safe water was urgently needed as supply systems (already of borderline capacity and efficiency) had been badly damaged. This prompted Potters for Peace to use the Mazariegos design to begin a Ceramic Water Filter production workshop in Nicaragua.
Here’s a video that provides an excellent description of how the Ceramic Water Filter does its job: