this is a collection of images and stories from my year abroad in nicaragua. I am working with AsoFenix, a Nicaraguan NGO, and Green Empowerment, a partnering NGO based in Portland, Oregon. My program is through IE3 global Internships and the University of Washington. It was made possible in part by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, the GO! Global Scholarship, and the IE3-OUS Chancellor Scholarship. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these programs or scholarship opportunities.

Last weekend I went to visit a small wind turbine installed by AsoFénix and the community of Cuajinicuil. This is where my friend Bryam grew up. Back in April, I made a post about Bryam and his bicycle and briefly described how AsoFénix trained him as an electrical technician who would have the technical skills necessary to maintain the wind turbine and the community’s electrical system.

Last weekend, I got to see him in action as he led his community in taking down the wind turbine to perform the routine maintenance required every 6 months.

Bryam is only twenty years old, but he is clearly a leader in his community. The energy that powers the lights, radios and televisions in his village is due to Bryam’s strong practical skills in electrical engineering and his ability to organizing and teach his peers.

It was also inspiring to see the entire community working together to take ownership of this wind energy project. AsoFénix and Green Empowerment were critical in supplying the technical assistance, trainings and financial credit, allowing the community to purchase all the materials for the project over time. AsoFénix was particularly involved in organizing the community to set up leaders and technicians to maintain the project and collect money from residents that is dedicated to the project’s upkeep.

But now it is up to the community to work collectively to keep wind energy powering their homes. And they do, and it’s amazing to see. I came away from this experience knowing one thing for sure:

The community of Cuajinicuil powers their own homes.

  1. mrrossleaveswashington posted this