October 19-26, 2019: Bringing Solar Power to Families in San Jose de Torrez, Nicaragua

This October, local Nicaraguan participants will travel with GRID Alternatives International Program to the rural community of San José de Torrez to work alongside community members to install solar home systems on 15 homes. Like many rural communities in Nicaragua, San José de Torrez does not have access to national electric grid, and families often rely on kerosene lamps and candles for lighting. Access to clean reliable electricity will provide families with safer, higher quality lighting for reading and studying at night, and the ability to plug in electric appliances that can give families better access to news, entertainment, and income generating opportunities.

A women from San Jose de Torrez stands outside her home.
San José de Torrez is a rural community located in the San Lorenzo municipality, about three hours drive east of the capital city of Managua.  There are no paved roads to San José de Torrez, so residents walk an hour to the nearest town to buy basic supplies, charge cell phones, and catch the bus to other parts of the country.  There are approximately 245 people living in San José de Torrez with no access to conventional grid electricity.

Community members make their living through small scale agriculture and some residents have institutional jobs working for the school or the mayor’s office. Women in the community tend to hold traditional roles and children have access to one multi-grade school their community, offering classes up to sixth grade level. 

A family stands in front of the solar panel to be installed on their roof along with GRID staff and participant
GRID staff and participants stand alongside a family and their soon-to-be-installed solar panel in neighboring El Pedregal, Boaco in 2016
Along with GRID staff and community members, local volunteers will install 15 solar home systems that will provide each family with AC electricity so they can plug in small common household appliances like lights, fans, radios, TVs, laptops, electric hair trimmers, and kitchen mixers. The off-grid, battery-based solar home systems are custom designed by GRID and consist of high-quality components designed to meet the average family’s electricity needs for years to come.  With the ability to generate their own clean, reliable electricity with the power of the sun, families will be able to replace harmful kerosene lamps and candles with safer, higher quality lighting for reading and studying at night, and increase their access to news, entertainment, and income generating opportunities through the use of electric appliances.

Community members have been involved with this project's development from the beginning, and assist in project implementation by helping to carry equipment and supplies to their homes, cooking meals for the installation group, hosting participants in their homes, and paying a subsidized amount for their solar home system. The community of San José de Torrez has and will continue to demonstrate their deep commitment and enthusiasm for the project by attending meetings and training offered by GRID before and after the project.

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