Lighting Up Teria Nacimiento

Year: 2017
Country: Panama
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Environment
Project Investment: $5,097.20

Project Launch: 6-9-17

Teria Nacimiento, a rural village of 200 inhabitants, currently lacks electricity. This constrains education and economic opportunity in the community as gainful activities can only be completed through the use of flashlights or during the day when the area is illuminated. Domestic chores are also challenging to complete as they must make use of what light is emitted naturally. Without an electrical grid nearby, the community has decided to acquire solar panels for 33 households which will enable families to have reliable power and improve overall quality of life. This project seeks to fund the purchase of the panels as well as their installation.

Project Update: 8-15-17

A number of projects concerning health and environmental stewardship have been initiated by the community to supplement the focus on solar panels. Because of the tropical climate and surrounding rainforests, residents learned about important local illnesses, many of which were present when touring local doctors from Clínica Dermatológica Arosemena (CDA) and the Clinica Sonrie came to treat villagers who were positive for conditions such as scabies and leishmaniasis, both not uncommon in the region. An Earth Day Ecological Stove Workshop in April saw 16 local families constructing their own cookstoves from entirely natural materials accessible in the community. Community clean-up at the end of spring was initiated to address litter and organize recycling sorting. In summer, an ornamental school garden was established using organic agricultural techniques and employing natural pesticides and fungicides made from locally available plants. Concerns about declining local biodiversity have also been addressed through a workshop given by a locally known biologist. The summer's final activity was the first workshop on benefits of renewable energy and will establish momentum for the installation of the solar panels.

Final Report: 11-21-17

Although Tropical Depression Nate destroyed many of the installed solar panels as well as the gardening area, the community united to commence recovery. All damaged panels were refurbished or replaced. The majority of participants were able to demonstrate that they understood or put in practice newly learned environmental sustainability skills based on observations and written evaluations. 

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