Solar Power Brings Light and Learning to Off-Grid Communities

For what the BOSAWAS biosphere forest reserve in northwest Nicaragua may lack in accessibility and connectivity, it makes up for in sunshine – the source of photosynthesis, Vitamin D, and solar power!

Twenty-four: the number of solar panels that can fit in a single dugout canoe. As the only means of transportation to and from the BOSAWAS communities located along the Rio Coco, people and goods routinely pile into motorized canoes to make the 8-hr journey. During construction of the seven schools that Change for Children has constructed in the region, these vessels have often carried concrete, lumber, nails, and corrugated metal, but this would be a first for a full fleet of solar panels.

It was quite a sight to see the solar panels make their way down the Rio Coco. It was quite a sight to see boys and girls and men and women carrying them overhead, underarm, and two-by-two up the river bank, across fields, and down narrow paths that lead to the four schools in the four communities participating in the Technology and Training for Quality and Equality in the BOSAWAS Project.

It was quite a sight to see the panels hoisted onto tin roofs, connected through a network of wires and cords and pvc pipes and into the power stations atop locallyharvested mahogany desktops in assigned technology classrooms.

It was quite a sight to see the power button on the RACHEL digital library light up and the 15 chromebooks in each school come to life. At the ready.

It was quite a sight to see the enthusiasm, the curiosity, and the wonder as teachers began to navigate the digital library, to explore, and to learn!

In The Field Central America and the Caribbean Nicaragua Education Indigenous Peoples