August 12-16, 2019: Bringing solar to families in Isla Zapatera, Nicaragua

This August, GRID staff will travel with six Nicaraguan volunteers to the communities of El Islote, Terron Colorado and Manares in Isla Zapatera, Nicaragua to work together with community members to install 13 Solar Home Systems. Access to clean reliable electricity will provide families with safer, higher quality lighting for reading and studying at night, and the ability to charge cell phones and plug in other electric appliances that can give families better access to news, entertainment, and income generating opportunities.

A family stands in front of their home smiling
The communities of El Islote, Terron Colorado and Manares are located close to one another in the Isla Zapatera area, which is located on Lake Nicaragua, in the department of Granada, municipality of Nandaime. These communities are difficult to reach and only accessible by boat. From the larger cities of Masaya or Granada, one must take a bus or car to the smaller town of Playa el Menco, where it is then required to take a 15-20 minute boat ride to arrive to each of these communities. Many families have their own small boat and use it to move from their island to other nearby sites, which is part of their daily activities. Due to the location of these communities on small islands and remote peninsulas, and the difficulty in reaching them, these communities lack access to the national electric grid. Families must rely on the use of candles, kerosene lamps, and battery lamps for lighting at night and to do their daily activities.

A small boat on the water
The communities of El Islote, Terron Colorado and Manares are difficult to reach and only accessible via boat.
The majority of people who live in these communities are involved in fishing activities, and others earn an income by transporting people by boat to the nearest cities of Granada, Nandaime, and Rivas on a daily basis. There is a multi-grade primary school in each of these communities, and GRID Alternatives has supported the installation of solar systems on schools in El Islote, Terron Colorado, and two other nearby communities. Solar has allowed schools to develop a more dynamic learning curriculum, through the use of new educational technologies. With the installation of solar home systems, 13 families will have access to clean, reliable electricity in their homes, provide families with safer, higher quality lighting for reading and studying at night, and the ability to charge cell phones and plug in other electric appliances that can give families better access to news, entertainment, and income generating opportunities.

Nicaraguan women with hardhat smiling, sitting behind solar panel on roof of home
Local Nicaraguan volunteers work alongside GRID staff during project installations, for hands-on training opportunities in solar.
Six volunteers from Nicaragua will travel with GRID to El Islote, Terron Colorado and Manares to install the 13 solar system from start-to-finish, gaining hands-on experience in solar installation, and building their skills and resumes to enter the growing solar industry in Nicaragua. 

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