Bringing Renewable Energy To Communities In Nicaragua

By Kyle Magee

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Why am I looking to raise money?

I’m raising money to work as an intern for 3 months to help the community of Sabana Grande in Nicaragua adopt renewable and sustainable energy, so they can break free from their dependence on Western countries for energy, make crippling power cuts a thing of the past and better support their families.

11393090_963898826984008_832691421771451765_nBecause of a lack of natural resources such as coal and oil, Nicaragua is heavily dependent on expensive and unreliable imported fossil fuels, often leading to crippling power cuts that hurt local businesses, shut down water pumps and stop local mills grinding corn to make staple food such as tortillas (imagine if our power wasn’t reliable enough to keep the supermarket shelves stocked with bread.) Determined to do something about it, Nicaraguans across the country like Silverio Martinez, (who is my age, and runs a local store in the farm town of San Jacinto) have decided to team up with experts and work towards reducing their dependence on other countries by harnessing the natural power of the weather.

With a little help from strong winds and sweltering heat, the country is having massive success, with more than half of family homes and local businesses now being powered by reliable renewable energy.  

But there’s still lots of work to be done! making the support of people like you and me invaluable to helping people like Silverio Martinez and his family build a future for Nicaragua. A dream that with your aid, I hope to help the pioneering people of Nicaragua achieve!

How will the money be spent?

Internship Fee ($1049.11/£686) Most of the fee goes straight to local engineers and their families for hosting and feeding interns like myse408816_319880661385831_1506480115_nlf during our stay. The rest of the fee goes towards buying the materials I will use to help build things such as solar ovens and water purifiers that will cleanly power the homes of Nicaraguans like Silverio Martinez and his family for years to come.

Local Spanish Course ($590.31/£386) As most Nicaraguans only speak their local dialect of Spanish, I will be taking a local Spanish course in Nicaragua that focuses specifically on engineering language essential to the work I'll be doing out there.

Flights ($1117.93/£731) Return trip from the UK.

What am I hoping to achieve by raising this money?

Just a few years ago, Nicaragua was almost totally dependent on an unreliable supply of imported oil. Often leading to 12-hour blackouts, power cuts in Nicaragua were crippling the economy, not only leaving towns without electricity to run essentials like water pumps, refrigerators, and local hospitals, but also paralysing local businesses such as carpenters and builders who need electric to power their tools.

1604893_689974341043126_379484790_nBesides using the money to build solar-powered off-grid electrical systems to tackle this problem - raising Nicaraguans living standards nearer to that of our own - the money will be used to increase the technical skill level and employability of locals who work alongside engineers and interns to build the technology.

For example, in 1999 a past project not only helped local land mine victims reintegrate into the community by teaching them how to fabricate, install and maintain solar panels, but also indirectly lead to the rise of a land mine victim run Solar panel business that continues to grow and thrive to this today!

Why do I care about the mission?

11401350_965165810190643_8603859105496605555_nNicaragua is one of the few countries in the world were both its government and its people are truly committed to going green. Not hindered by regulations and politics like more developed countries, Nicaraguan hospitals, schools, businesses and homes stands a real chance of being powered almost entirely by clean
green energy by 2020. Although the internship won’t be a walk in the park, It will be well worth it to help an aspirational culture were such positive and pioneering projects like this are taking place.

But if you're not convinced by the mission yet, or have doubts about the value these projects are adding to people's lives, here's another success story for you to read...
Traditionally, cooking in rural Nicaragua is done over an open fire. Sadly, much like our country when we used to cook this way, the open fires cause terrible respiratory diseases, and are a common cause of death among the young women who spend a lot of their time in kitchens. Thankfully, with the help of Grupo Fenix's solar oven project, the local women of Sabana Grande have been shown a new way to cook using the power of the sun. A step forward that has not only helped to battle respiratory disease among local women, but that has also led to the creation of a new Solar Center and the launch of the first clean energy restaurant in Nicaragua (La Casita Solar).

A little bit about me as a person...

I’m 20 years old, eager to learn from others, and have a great respect for foreign cultures and different ways of thinking.Kyle Magee

Whether it’s a spur of the moment stargaze, hike, camp or beach bonfire, I love the outdoors and the wildlife I share it with. Between this, reading, rock climbing and sea kayaking, I stay pretty busy in my spare time.

I also like to blog about psychology and sustainability which you can check out on this link! 

Oh and I almost forgot, whether I’m whipping up a tasty treat on a campfire, BBQ or cooker, I love to cook!

Updates

The Project FAQs

Donation Rewards...
£25 = $37.59

If your generous enough to donate £25, I will send you the very best picture postcard I can get my hands on whilst in Nicaragua, personally thanking you for your contribution and vital support.

(I will also do my best to find one that you can frame and put on your wall to show off to curious friends and family)

£50 = $75.19

For those who donate £50, I will both send you a both a personalised postcard and Grupo Fenix mug. This should give you a nice reminder of your massive contribution to the community and people of Sabana Grande every time you enjoy a cup of tea/coffee in the morning.

(And who knows, your mug and frameable postcard may spark some great conversations with friends and family over the years as well!)

above £50

And for people who donate above £50, well, you shall have to tell me a little bit about yourself so that I can get something really special and personalised for you whilst in Nicaragua!