When Women Lead, We Have a More Sustainable World.

New Guanacottawa Art School & Community Center in Intipuca, El Salvador
Provides Opportunity for Combatting Poverty, Supporting Creativity and Being Ecologically Responsible.

Construction of an Art School & Community Center in the small community of Intipuca, La Union, El Salvador will guide local women how they themselves can adopt and promote a more inclusive and sustainable outlook while combatting poverty. Guanacottawa, a nonprofit based in Ottawa, Canada has partnered with Pangea Builders who will be designing and building a sustainable passive solar building with off-grid living systems incorporating natural and recycled materials. Stakeholders and donations will help underwrite the project.

The purpose of this project is to
promote a more inclusive and
sustainable outlook on how to
combat poverty by empowering women.

The women of Intipuca, organized and overseen by Maritza, a community leader, currently sell handcrafted art at their shop, Artes Nuevos Amanecer. Items the women make include colorful painted jewelry, hand woven purses, toddlers’ booties and hammocks. They sold their items under the sun before Maritza and others helped fundraise enough to build a small shelter out of laminate, concrete footing and wood. The shop is the main livelihood for many women in the community. The Art School Community Center will house a new shop. The El Salvador Ministry of Exterior Relationships has stated it would like the Center to be a place for learning and allow the community to expand its uses. In addition to designing and construction, Pangea Builders will educate the women and community at large about what is sustainable living and how they can benefit from implementing that outlook.

Floor Plan Guanacottawa Art School El Salvador Earthship
gofundme guanacottawa art school el salvador
Women Empowerment Floor Plan Guanacottawa Art School El Salvador Earthship

●  Pangea Builders
Architecture, Design, Construction, Teaching, Sustainable Living Systems.
●  Maritza in Nuevo Amanecer
Client, Owner of the building.

●  Embassy of El Salvador in Canada
●  Embassy of Canada in El Salvador
●  Ministry of Exterior Relationships in El Salvador
●  Ministry of Construction in El Salvador

Impact on National Development: Canada’s Mandate to contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable world in a gender responsive world.

Guanacottawa has taken on the task of acquiring the funds to construct an Art School for Maritza, the leader of the community in Intipuca, La Union, El Salvador called Nuevo Amanecer. This is a project that is dear to their hearts because they have met and dined with Maritza herself and know her to be a very strong willed woman.

Guanacottawa has partnered up with Pangea Builders who will be designing a sustainable passive solar building with off-grid living systems while incorporating natural and upcycled materials.

For the project to be implemented properly, community involvement is necessary. Stakeholders will be able to insist on Canada’s international mandate and promote development of communities in El Salvador. Maritza as the owner of the Art School will have the comfort that is needed to teach her community how to thrive sustainably.

Research must be done by Guanacottawa hence the Ministra de Desarrollo Local (Sanchez) will be contacted apart from Pangea Builders doing their part. This will be to foresee possible deviations of the plan and to acquire more stakeholders. The sums required must be acquired and all means will be exhausted to do so. Guanacottawa is also looking to acquire much needed help from the community itself. The Ministry of Exterior Relationships in El Salvador will need to guide us in this regard.


Artes Nuevos Amanecer is an arteseneria shop owned by women from Intipuca La Union, El Salvador . The community Nuevo Amanecer sells their handcrafted art at this shop. Nuevo Amanecer was formally without homes but with the approval of the court Nuevo Amanecer was given land and were supplied by other NGOs with the materials to construct their own homes. This shop is the main livelihood for many women in the community just like Maritza who is the leader of the community. The members of Gunacottwa first met Maritza back in the summer of 2019 during an excursion under the name of ‘Campamento Kutskatkan’ hosted by the Ministry of Exterior Relationships in El Salvador. Nuevo Amanecer had asked Cipotes en Acción, which was a new NGO at the time based in Ottawa, who help out people in El Salvador as mandated by the Ministry of Exterior Relationships and out of their own accord, if they could help the community with money for supplies to build a roof so that the ladies who made hammocks could do so in shade instead of under the sun. Cipotes en Accion went above and beyond and helped them create a little play yard using paint, tires and fallen trees. The members of Guanacottawa were part of Cipotes en Accion during this time and got to help out.

The question of building an Art School for the community arose. With this in mind money started being collected by the two members of Guanacottawa in hopes of someday having enough money to build a more permanent building where the community can utilize it to its very extent. Sustainability and efficiency is key when it comes to building a structure that is meant to help those with insufficient means for maintenance and renovation. Designing a structure that can be replicated by the community is the goal. By allowing the design of this structure to incorporate both of these aspects it becomes easy to see how the community can benefit from learning and understanding it. Guanacottawa found it difficult to design and construct such a design hence they partnered up with Pangea Builders.

Pangea Builders an educational and research organization providing off-grid sustainable buildings for residential, commercial and governmental use. Pangea Builders designs and constructs buildings that use both natural and upcycled materials as construction materials. These types of buildings have a special name, “Earthships”, they are passive solar houses that still provide potable water, contained sewage treatment and sustainable food production.

Maritza is the leader of the community in Intipuca, La Union, El Salvador called Nuevo Amanecer. She has asked us, now Guanacottawa, to help her build an Art School which will allow her to unite and teach the community a more sustainable outlook on how to combat poverty. Guanacottawa has partnered up with Pangea Builders to make her dreams a reality.

Overall Purpose

Community involvement is required for this project to be completed. With the community’s involvement they will be able to gain knowledge on what sustainability is and how it can be acquired. Their involvement will become an asset to its completion. This benefits the purpose of the project considering that a learning experience always brings forward new opportunities. Sustainable design can then be implemented by those in the community themselves once they consider themselves to be capable of doing so. As the structure is being completed the community will benefit from having a space where they can soundly learn from the leaders of the community.

This project is valuable and as a stakeholder you will benefit from knowing that you have allowed Guanacottawa to succeed in bringing the community the space they needed while implementing Canada’s international mandate. The overall purpose of this project is to promote a more inclusive and sustainable outlook on how to combat poverty by empowering women. By providing a means to an end you will be allowing Guanacottawa and Pangea Builders to succeed in their goal of constructing this project which will then be used to further establish the role of women as leaders in their community and as well furthering the knowledge of everyone in the community. The governmental bodies involved will be known by the community as trustworthy and forever helpful to the poor of El Slavador with their involvement in this project.

Maritza who is the leader of the community will finally be able to say that she has a space where she can feel comfortable enough to prosper and bring her community together. This feeling will be shared by all those who work alongside Maritza in making hammocks and arts.

The purpose of this project is to bring the community together and for them to gain more knowledge on what is a sustainable outlook and how they can implement that outlook. By allowing the government bodies to help we are allowing the people working for the betterment of El Salvador to acquire a more sustainable outlook on ending poverty hence insisting on Canada’s international mandate.

By accomplishing this goal Guanacottawa will be empowering women such as Maritza who is a leader of the community and allowing her to provide a better means to an end. We are providing the community with the possibility of learning throughout the whole process as being accomplished and as once accomplished.

Want a more sustainable world? Let women lead the way


What is an Earthship Home?

An Earthship is a type of passive solar house that is made of both natural and upcycled materials (such as earth-packed tires). Earthships can be completely off-grid or partially off-grid.

Earthships can be built in any part of the world, in any climate (with a permit) and still provide electricity, potable water, contained sewage treatment and sustainable food production.

Earthships are thermal mass homes first, passive solar homes second.

Whatever temperature goes into an Earthship, it will hold… and since it is also a Passive Solar House, it is also very tight and interacts only with the sun and the earth for heating and cooling, providing stable comfort year round in any climate. This results in being able to provide a sustainable home on property that may not be situated to the ideal of 13.5 degrees east of south.

Taos, New Mexico | California

Off-Grid Living Systems

Water | Power | Waste Water Treatment | Heating/Cooling

The systems of a building. These are the systems that go into the structural shell of the building for occupancy. Some or all of these systems can be used instead of the conventional methods to provide utilities to buildings. This can make the build more sustainable, secure and healthy than only using conventional utilities.

All systems can have automated conventional backups. All systems can be added to existing conventional buildings as a renovation project.

Living with sustainable off-grid systems enhances our lives, secures our lives and is a better investment than conventional buildings.

This increases both psychological and physiological comfort.

Taos, New Mexico | California