They bring "green light" to schools and health centers

They bring

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A clear example of this is that the Las Cuchillas community, on the island of Ometepe, is almost excluded from the One Computer per Child program of the Zamora Terán Foundation, for not having access to such an important service.

The anecdote is told by Carla Estrada, Project Manager of Grid Alternatives, an organization that since 2009 is dedicated to installing photovoltaic systems in schools and health centers in rural areas of the country.

According to Estrada, the 40 elementary school boys and girls who have XO computers in the Las Cuchillas community can fully use them in their training process, thanks to the photovoltaic system that allows them to keep the equipment batteries charged.

"They (the residents) looked for us to install a photovoltaic system in the community school," he said, adding that to date, Grid Alternatives has installed 16 photovoltaic systems in rural communities of Rivas, Granada, Boaco and Matagalpa .


Each photovoltaic system has 6 solar panels, each 230 watts, plus a battery bank, an inverter, and a charge controller. All of this, Estrada said, costs between $ 8,000 and $ 10,000, money that is donated by US organizations.

He indicated that in each community an energy committee is formed, whose members are trained in the installation, use and maintenance of photovoltaic systems, although the entire process is guided by technicians and volunteers who arrive from the United States.

As each system has a capacity of more than 1,000 watts, they allow the connection of 10 laptop computers or a small refrigerator, plus 16 economical LED glow plugs and 20 cell phones. “All this at the same time and during the day,” explained the Grid Alternatives Project Manager. "WOMEN OF THE SUN"

This year, Grid Alternatives is convening 10 women who are interested in working in renewable energies, to voluntarily participate in the installation of a photovoltaic system in the El Guaylo community, San Juan de Limay municipality, Estelí, a project they have called “ Women of the Sun ”.

Estrada affirmed that although there are universities that offer careers or specializations in renewable energies, the installation opportunities are very scarce, so that the priority in this call is female students.

"Those who most participate (in renewable energy work) are men, but the organization wants to give women the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge they have acquired," he said.

In the El Guaylo community there are 261 people who live in 58 houses, and in most of the homes they use gas lamps to light themselves at night, or flashlights that need AAA batteries that must be replaced every two weeks.

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