International Impact Stories

In February 2018, GRID Alternatives installed a solar-powered drip irrigation system on the small farm of the Cruz family in the rural community of La Rinconada, Nicaragua. Participant Bob Pashos, a Solar Educator at StraightUp Solar in St. Louis, MO, reflects on his experience installing the project while immersed in Nicaragua for a week with GRID. Here, he shares his daily diary.

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Boanerges y Luisa Cruz son pequeños

"My name is Raymundo de Jesus Villagra Garcia and I’m 63 years old. I was born in the same house where I currently live in the community of San Isidro, in the mountainous northern region of Nicaragua. My parents were one of the first families to come to this community and there were very few inhabitants." Read more about Tío (Uncle) Raymundo, and his leadership in the community.
Having an off-grid solar system on his house in the rural community of El Platanal, Nicaragua has allowed Jose Ariel to maintain his independence and dignity, despite the challenges he faces living with a disability. By continuing to live in his own house and raise animals, he has a purpose and a comfortable routine.
Impacts from the Cruz family's solar-powered drip irrigation system include higher earnings, more diverse crops, eliminating the need to rent a gas pump three times per week, the ability to work the farm and produce year-round, and more locally grown food available in their community.
Earlier this month I took an incredible trip with GRID to install a 1.2 kW off-grid solar system in Nepal's Chitwan National Park. Often in the clean energy space, unless you are a developer or installer yourself, you can feel fairly far removed from the technology and often our knowledge of the technical side of the business can be intangible and learned only from drawings and maintenance reports. I wanted to get my hands dirty and help build a system from start to finish.