Visit Power to the People's website to learn more about their programs abroad
Power to the People is a 501c3 non-profit organization working with volunteers to bring solar electricity to community buildings in rural areas of the developing world. Our mission is to create opportunities for people to improve the quality of their own lives through the installation of renewable energy technologies.
Volunteering with Power to the People is a great way to learn more about solar energy while making a lasting impact in others’ lives. We are always looking for volunteers to travel with us to Central America to gain hands-on experience installing an off-grid solar system alongside community volunteers.
I recently returned from my second trip with Power to the People; this time to an off-grid community, Potrero Platanal, in the Boaca Department of Nicaragua. We first met in...Read more
I recently returned from my second trip with Power to the People; this time to an off-grid community, Potrero Platanal, in the Boaca Department of Nicaragua. We first met in Managua, then had a day in Grenada, and then traveled by mini-busy, four wheel drive, and then finally by foot and by hoof the last stretch through the hills to the community. Afterwards we had an excellent time on Ometepe Island. Some great pictures can be seen through the Power to the People website, or via this link: http://powertothepeople.smugmug.com/Solar/Potrero-Platanal-2013/28484060_tzdq9M#!i=2425870997&k=Bf4Wbzb
The geography was beautiful, the local community kind and inviting and fun! And the solar installation was a full success.
It's truly a unique experience to get "off the beaten path" and to be able to interact with the local people in the context within which we did. It was wonderful to collaborate on the project together with them, to share stories and perspectives, and to celebrate with them. In this day and age it's easy to forget the many different realities within which other people on this planet live - and it feels great to have contributed towards a worthy project, as opposed to simply "passing through". It was a bonding experience with both the community members, and amongst our group or "Voluntourists".
The Traveling before and after the installation was likewise well led and we were treated to experiences that it takes a local to discover - including a hike to one of the site of one of the first Power to the People installations on a school on Ometepe, and the chance to join a meeting with the local stakeholders. It was neat to learn how the project has affected them, and how future collaborations were being developed.
Wonderful, rewarding, FUN experience overall. This will not be my last trip with Power to the People!!
I went with Power to the People to help instal a solar system on a rural school on Isla Zapatera in Lake Nicaragua. The entire experience was wonderful and very...Read more
I went with Power to the People to help instal a solar system on a rural school on Isla Zapatera in Lake Nicaragua. The entire experience was wonderful and very rewarding.
The island is off-grid, and when we arrived, by "launcha", the school's teacher and students were waiting on the beach to welcome us with a homemade banner and song. That moment was priceless.
The community was extremely warm and gracious - and very grateful for the solar system, which was going to allow them to use computers in the classrooms, and have lights so that they could hold evening classes for adults.
We stayed nearby in a beautiful lakefront "eco-lodge". It was extremely charming and comfortable, while still being appropriately rustic. During the day we worked to install the system with the PT2P team and some locals. Everyone was able to participate to the degree that they wished, and there were many opportunities to interact with the community members, and to learn about solar systems. After wrapping up each day in the late afternoon, we swam, lounged around the lodge, and visited some nearby households.
After completing the work & inaugurating the local committee responsible for maintaining the system, the entire community showed up for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The first light switch was thrown, they plugged in the music and the celebration began! Both the children and adults were amazingly kind and joyful and lavished us with gratitude, camaraderie, and entertainment - and dancing!
When we returned to the U.S., we received this email:
Dear friends I am the teacher from santa Maria Zapatera, in this moment I am in the school , we have internet is increible but true,
thank you for to be good people, recive our greeting , good luck with you, God bless you.
Before and after the installation, we spent a few days traveling and visiting some "off the beaten path" destinations. Our guides, the food, and the lodgings were all superb.
What an amazing experience!!
I volunteer with Jenean and the P2P volunteers. I've been to Nicaragua twice with the organization and the trip was very stimulating. We installed solar on a school for a...Read more
I volunteer with Jenean and the P2P volunteers. I've been to Nicaragua twice with the organization and the trip was very stimulating. We installed solar on a school for a community of farmers that had been living without electricity for many years. The first night there was no lights in the community after 7:30 PM. Everyone went to bed at this hour and woke up with the sun. On day two the school was illuminated and families & volunteers congregated at the schoold to celebrate. On the trip we also toured volcanoes, tried delicious tropical fruits and vegetable as well as the traditional cultural dishes from Nicaragua. It was life changing!