Photo of the Week: Lighting Up Rural Peru


In partnership with PowerMundo, we are working to light up homes throughout Peru with “cleantech” solar products that provide rural families with safe, clean, and inexpensive energy. (Photo: PowerMundo 2012)

Learn more about our work with PowerMundo at our website!

Notes from the Field: Lighting Up Rural Peru

by Paul Winkel, PowerMundo Peru

Solar lights are illuminating the homes and minds of children living in rural Peru. (Photo: PowerMundo 2012)

Around the world, 1.4 billion people still have no access to electricity. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, Trees, Water & People (TWP) and our partners are working to bring light and energy to rural communities in Central America and Peru. Paul Winkel, who works with TWP partner PowerMundo to distribute solar lights and cell phone chargers, offers his reflections:

When I was a teacher, we often spoke amongst ourselves of that special moment when we “lit up a child’s life.” Those times where we could see a child come alive and truly connect, when you felt you were making the biggest difference.

I don’t think any of us really understood the full meaning of that saying – light is so common in our lives that we do not appreciate its power, and so it passes merely into metaphor. But here in Peru millions live in the dark, and in my few months I have truly seen lives illuminated. Not just children, but entire families now light up because of our work, and that light radiates in incredible ways.

It seemed such a simple idea when I left home…yet the best usually are. A small plastic device that fits in your hand – a light and cell phone charger that changes lives. And not as a gift, that’s the best part. These people are not “poor” – many live amongst some of the greatest natural wealth I have ever seen. They do not need our charity or one-off projects. All they need is the market for a solution; and we’re here to help create it.

Learn more about Trees, Water & People’s Cleantech Program here.

Photo of the Week: Bringing Solar Energy to Rural Honduras

Sebastian Africano_La Paz Honduras
TWP International Director Sebastian Africano discusses the benefits of solar lighting with a member of the Lenca Women’s Ceramics Cooperative in rural La Paz, Honduras. This group of women is responsible for some of the most remarkable sculpture work in Honduras, and have replaced candlelight and smoky ‘Ocote’ pine flame with bright Barefoot Power LED lights, helping them work evening hours to get products to craft markets throughout Honduras.

TWP and AHDESA Inaugurate the Renewable Energy Training and Demonstration Center

honduras renewable energy training and demonstration center
Ignacio Osorto (center), Director of AHDESA, and TWP International Director Sebastian Africano (right), cut the ribbon on the new Renewable Energy Training and Demonstration Center in Honduras.

On August 17th, TWP and our partner organization, Asociación Hondureña para el Desarrollo (AHDESA), inaugurated the Renewable Energy Training and Demonstration Center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The Center has been developed as part of our work with the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas’ (ECPA) Improving Access to Clean Energy in Latin America initiative. Since November 2011, TWP and AHDESA have been working as “Implementing Partners” with the ECPA to promote clean energy, low carbon development, and climate-resilient growth in Central America.

The new Renewable Energy Training & Demonstration Center is powered by a 2kW solar PV system and wind energy. In addition, AHDESA has all of the clean cookstove models that they produce on display as well as an array of Cleantech products that they sell to communities who lack access to the energy grid.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the event!

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First Look! The National Center for Biomass Energy & Climate Change

National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change_Nicaragua
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We are working with our long-time NGO partner, Proleña, in Nicaragua, to establish the National Center for Biomass Energy & Climate Change near La Paz Centro, Nicaragua.

The Center will be an educational resource where communities can learn about managing forests, renewable energy, cleantech, and clean cookstoves. In addition to the core training, we will develop the Center as a global facility, where people from around the world will be empowered with the skills that will help them adapt to climate change in their region.

Features of the National Center for Biomass Energy & Climate Change:

  • Biomass Forest Plot
  • Classrooms for Trainings & Workshops
  • Clean Cookstoves & Fuel-Efficient Kilns
  • 2kW Photovoltaic System
  • Cleantech Products
  • Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Demos
Nicaragua Climate Change Center
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