Harvey, Domingo, Alexi, Junior and Jim were able to build and install 14 systems in Junior's village in the Solentiname Islands in Nicaragua. If you look at the picture above, Junior is driving the boat. We had a great time meeting lots of new people, eating lots of great food and helping families have electricity in their home. We even started a new project and research group that we will be expanding this summer.
One of the first things that we do now when installing solar is to build all of the equipment. All of the technicians are trained to build and test the systems before they are installed in the home. This can be difficult in the field without electricity, but we will setup a solar drill charger so we can at least use a drill. Here is a picture of the assembly area. This is a great learning environment for our new technician Junior. You can see him building a kit and learning from our Harvey. It is very important to Beyond the Light Project to leave behind a sustainable solar economy, with a local trained technician to support their village.
Here, you can see Alexi working on installing a solar panel on a home under the watchful eye of Harvey. There is also a young man who wanted to help. I wonder if he will be a future technician...
The families in this region are generally fisherman. This was really great because they showed us how they catch fish and even had a fish fry for the team. All of us agreed that this was the best fish we have had in a long time.
Our solar school project went very well last year, with over 15 new solar schools installed in 2019. So...our Director of Health, Dr. Allison Huffman, decided that we need to take on something else. She told the team to develop a solar ventilation system for people with wood burning ovens. We all thought this was a good idea, so we designed and built prototypes that we installed in 2 homes in Mancarron for testing. We have a big research plan for this summer to evaluate the health effects of these ventilation systems along with TCU and Polisal UNAN-Managua Nursing School. Here is a picture of Harvey finishing up the installation of one of the systems. TCU Engineering students, Elizabeth Brice and Nick Forsland designed these prototype systems. This project is really gonna be a good one.
Here is our customer with her new ventilation system. She just has to flip the switch and the fan comes on to suck out the smoke. This is our first prototype, so we were checking on how easy it is to install, monitor and sustain.
It was really a great trip to this wonderful area. We hope to hear from these families soon so hear how electricity is changing their lives.