Paso Real is a small rural community in northwestern Nicaragua that does not have access to grid electricity. The school currently offers class to 17 students from Paso Real and surrounding communities where children walk long distances to receive a basic elementary education. Access to reliable solar electricity at the school provides quality lighting for students and teachers in the classroom and is a resource for the entire community. The community leaders advocating for this project are all women, since many of the men in Paso Real migrate to El Salvador and Costa Rica to work in agriculture or construction for 3-6 months out of the year. For this reason the community leaders also advocated for an improved cookstove at the school so the mothers who take turns preparing lunch for students will no longer have breathe in smoke in the small artisanal adobe kitchen.
Eight volunteers from Nicaragua traveled with GRID to Paso Real to install the solar system and improved cookstove 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.