For the first time, GRID Alternatives Central Valley hosted 40 students visiting from Universidad Autónoma Chapingo located in Mexico. This university is the alma mater to one of our own Solar Installation Supervisor’s, Daniel Lomas. Universidad Autónoma Chapingo is an agricultural college from Texcoco, Mexico State and offers technical and bachelor’s degrees. It is one of the leading Universities in Latin America in the areas of agriculture and also offers high school education as well. The visiting students traveled from Mexico to attend the World Ag Expo event held annually at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, California. This event featured 1,452 exhibitors and boasted over 102,000 attendees representing 48 states and 65 countries. The World Ag Expo is a huge event for people invested or interested in agriculture and will typically see attendees visit from all around the world to learn about the newest agricultural equipment, services, and technology.
Visiting California was a new experience for all of the students. The trip participants had engaging conversations with a handful of our Spanish speaking staff members. They were given a short presentation by Daniel Lomas about GRID and the work that we do for our low income communities. After speaking with a few students, many had compared the solar between the United States and Mexico. Solar in most areas of Mexico is very expensive and you would only see modules in residential areas for wealthier families. The norm for most areas there are using solar water heaters and the average electricity bill for a family of four equals approximately $20. The students had been particularly interested in GRID’s International programs and possibly volunteering in other countries. We had an amazing time hosting this group and hope to see a few of those students volunteering on future installations!