We are happy to report that our staff is back to work in Nicaragua! Earlier this year, political unrest, tension, and violence in the country caused us to put our projects on hiatus for the safety of both our project participants and staff. Now that the situation has improved, our Nicaragua GRID staff has begun to do outreach again in rural communities. Because safety is our primary concern, our travel opportunities are still on hiatus. We continue to closely monitor the situation and hope to offer travel opportunities in the future. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts, support, and patience and hope for a peaceful resolution.
Over the past month, our team in Nicaragua hosted a solar training for students at the INTECNA University, as well as expanded a few solar systems our staff previously installed on the Arquitecto Lorenzo school in El Islote, Granada. Our team is currently installing 17 off-grid solar home systems in the community of San Isidro, Jinotega, where later this year we will be installing improved cookstoves. We are also preparing for Mujeres del Sol 2019 - 10 Nicaraguan women will participate in solar and improved cookstove installations in Platanal, Boaco.
While we slowly ramp back up in Nicaragua, GRID has been focusing our resources on our work in Mexico and Nepal. In Tijuana, Mexico, we recently completed our two largest international projects - a 30 kilowatt system on the Door of Faith orphanage, and a 15 kilowatt system on the La Esperanza orphanage, thanks to the support of IGS Energy and our generous donors. The electric bill savings will be used to provide more resources for over one hundred and fifty children. Families are turning on their lights for the first time in the Kumeyaay community in Juntas de Niji, Mexico. This indigenous community has long been without access to electricity, and with support from Flex Foundation and Trojan Battery Company, 18 homes and the elementary school are going solar.
In Nepal, we recently installed solar on the Shree Dumne School, that will provide reliable electricity for the educational resources of over 100 children. This December, we will host our first “Women in Solar” installation in Nepal. Ten Nepali participants will install a 2 kilowatt off-grid system on the Kaathe Observation Tower in Chitwan National Park, providing training for freed Kamlaris who are no longer in bonded servitude and a source of reliable electricity for the park’s conservation efforts.
Our international work in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Nepal is becoming more and more imperative. In Nicaragua, the recent unrest disrupted access to education, employment, transportation, and other services. Providing schools, homes, farmers and other resource centers with clean energy allows rural communities to become more resilient in the face of external pressures.