I am the Director of Residential Engineering at HelioPower, Inc. as well as a volunteer with Grid Alternatives (Inland Empire) and I love the solar industry! I am very passionate about a few things in life, three of which are travel, philanthropy, and solar. This opportunity lets me pursue all these things at once. I am looking forward to my trip to help the people in Nicaragua power their homes and go to school. Please team up with Grid Alternatives and myself in making this possible by donating here. Any contribution is helpful! Also, please share the link with EVERYONE you know.
Grid Alternatives wrote -
In October 2014, GRID Alternatives (formerly Power to the People) will be leading a trip to Nicaragua with volunteers to install two off-grid photovoltaic systems on a primary school and a health post in the community of La Trinidad, Boaco, Nicaragua.
The community of La Trinidad is located in the central region of Nicaragua in the municipality of San Lorenzo, in the department of Boaco. The community has 198 inhabitants living in 48 houses.
The Health Post:
La Trinidad has a common well and water is brought to every house by PVC pipes, although the water is often polluted which causes diarrhea and other diseases, which affect children the most.
The health post in La Trinidad was build in 2012 and has six rooms in total: a room for general consults, a room used as a pharmacy, another room used to store files, a curing room, amedical room (where the nurse sleeps) and a bathroom.
There is an official nurse named Tanyusca, who lives at the Heath Post and attends to the people in the community from Monday to Thursday. She studies on Saturday so every Friday she leaves La Trinidad to be on time for classes the next day. She graduated as a nurse four years ago and she received a scholarship to study Public Health at college because she was a good student.
MINSA (Ministry of Health) pays for Tanyusca´s salary and also provides medication. Tanyusca opens at 6AM and closes at 5:30PM to have time to attend between 40 to 50 patients from La Trinidad every week, from 11 communities that do not have a health post where they live.
The nurse also makes house by house visits, to attend patients with special needs or guaranty vaccination to all children from all over the communities around. Vaccines are kept in two small coolers at the health post. There is no electricity at the health post so Tanyusca brings enough ice to keep them cool every Monday. If she feels that she is running out of ice she goes back to the closest big town or sends someone to bring ice so the vaccines are kept at the right temperature.
There are some people with diabetes that need insulin every day, and because there is no refrigeration system these patients need to travel around 20km ones or twice a week to get their medication.
GRID Alternatives' volunteers will be repairing a solar system on the health post and installing a solar-powered DC refrigerator.
The La Trinidad elementary school was built in 2006 as a donation of the Japanese government. It has two classrooms. The small classroom is used for kindergarten and the bigger classroom is used for first through sixth grade students who all attend class at the same time. Maria Jose Luna is the kindergarten teacher and Edith Chavez the first through sixth grade teacher.
There are 12 children that attend to kindergarten and 33 attend first through sixth grade. The school is in very well maintained and is in very good condition. When students finish primary school they have to travel to the nearest town for high school education since there is no high school in La Trinidad.
GRID Alternatives' volunteers will install a 1.38kW system on the elementary school, bringing lights and AC power to the school that the teacher and students can use to improve education in their community.
Tourism and Cultural Activities:
Volunteers will have the chance to visit the colonial city of Granada, the first city in the New World, established in 1524. While in the community of Los Encuentros, we will participate in cultural activities like learning how to make artisanal leather goods and tortillas. After the solar installation is complete, volunteers will travel to Isla Ometepe, an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua with two volcanoes on it.