October 3-6: Bringing solar to families in Juntas de Neji, Baja California, México

This October, participants will travel with GRID to the off-grid Kumeyaay community of Juntas de Neji to facilitate solar energy access to five families and at a soon-to-be community teacher's house. With access to clean, reliable electricity, families will be able to power lighting for reading and studying at night, and electric appliances that can give them better access to news, entertainment, and income generating opportunities.

A mother and her four young children stand outside their home in Juntas de Neji
Located in the municipality of Tecate, Juntas de Neji covers an area of 11,590 hectares and it is home to 140 residents, 90 of which belong to the Kumeyaay nation, making Juntas de Neji the northermost indigenous community of Mexico. Although Juntas de Neji is relatively close to larger towns like Tecate and Tijuana, grid electricity has never been extended to their community.  Some families in the community live in 500 square foot houses that were built in 2017 by the federal government in this area to reduce overcrowding, but many of the homes still have no potable water, even though the new homes have a tank for water on the roof.

Local school at night with lights on
In December of 2018, GRID brought solar to the local school in Juntas de Neji with support from Trojan Battery
GRID Alternatives has been working with the community of Juntas de Neji for almost two years with support of different partners. This will be the third project in the community; last year 18 solar home systems and a solar system on the local school were installed. 

A mother holds out a lightbulb lit by new solar home system to two surprised and happy daughters,
A mother and her daughters turn on the lights in their home for the first time!
In October 2019, GRID will install six more solar home systems, bringing reliable reliable electricity to six more families in the community for the first time, improving the quality of life for residents and creating more income generating opportunities. 

During their 3-day trip to Mexico, participants from the San Diego and Greater Los Angeles area will be immersed in the rural community of Juntas de Neji, staying in the community and working alongside GRID staff and partners to assemble and install the solar systems from start-to-finish. They'll have the opportunity to learn about the community of Juntas de Neji and the local Kumeyaay culture, and share with families and community members. Before and after the project, they will have the opportunity explore a bit more of the Baja California region of Mexico near Juntas de Neji.

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