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Dec 31, 2019

Solar Installation and 2019 Awards

Installing LED Lights
Installing LED Lights

Yesterday, December 30, 2019 a group of Appropriate Technology Collaborative volunteers installed solar power on a home in Quixaya Guatemala.  The family had been living by candle light all their lives and last night was their first bright night.  The family has agreed to let us switch their solar power system to a prototype of our Solar.20 long lasting solar power system later this year.  We expect valuable feedback on how the systems compare and we plan on incorporating this into our final design.  

We made a short video on the last night without electricity and the installation of the new system.  We will post the video and provide a link when it is finished.  

Today is the last day of 2019.  It has been a great year for The Appropriate Technology Collaborative.  We received international recognition for our solar projects and valuable support from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop our Solar.20 solar power systems.  

We've won three awards this year!

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association selected our Solar School Computer Lab project with the community of Tiritibol as an exemplary project in the field of renewable energy!

In 2018, ATC and community volunteers installed solar power to electrify classrooms and run a laptop computer lab at Tiritibol Primary School - a village 3 hours away from the nearest high school.

It was a true collaborative project: supporters in the US donated used laptops; volunteers brought them down, donors covered installation costs, the community covered food and locally available materials.

The goal was to teach 180 rural school children how to type so they could access the same modern education of their urban counterparts. With basic computer skills, rural kids have a chance at high school, professional jobs, and university to break out of poverty.

In a follow-up visit we returned to find that the laptop computers are not only teaching children how to type, but they began a distance high school program online! 

This year the first 7 teenagers are going to high school in their rural village, and that number is going to keep growing every year as their younger siblings get a head start with computer classes. 

PS: Still trying to remember the other two awards this year?

  • In June we won the Energy Globe Award for Guatemala innovative solutions to climate change. 
  • In October we won the American Made Solar Prize for designing a family of long life solar power kits. 

Looking forward to 2020 we will be interviewing foundations and nonprofits who work in the of Humanitarian Solar Power to start the process of expanding our Carbon Credits program.  

First LED Light
First LED Light

Links:

Dec 16, 2019

The dehydrators are now producing new, unique products!

Drying organic yucca for gluten-free flour
Drying organic yucca for gluten-free flour

The Permaculture Cooperative of Quixaya is diversifying their products. You already heard about their herbal tea mixes and raw cookies, but there's much more they can use the dehydrators to produce!  The agricultural plots of Quixaya grow a wide variety of foods to support their family nutrition without chemical inputs.  Their plots are a mix of fish ponds, ducks, chickens and rabbits, corn, bananas, tumeric, yucca, taro, medicinal herbs and fruit trees. 

As rainy season hit, it was time to harvest the yucca - a root of simple carbohydrates that grows easily in tropical areas.  The President of the cooperative has strong ties to the eco-tourism market around Lake Atitlan, and has shown surprising creativity by leveraging the dehydrators to access this niche market. The cooperative found a way to produce gluten-free flour to sell to restaurants and shops. Simply by grating and drying the yucca, they can blend the dried flakes to create a local, organic gluten-free flour!

That's not all, they are doing the same thing with their tumeric! Tumeric is a medicinal root with anti-inflamatory and immune-boosting qualities - it also makes Indian food taste great. Organic tumeric has a high market value, and Quixaya has the abundant water and warm weather necessary to grow plenty of it! However, other tumeric producers sell their tumeric whole & raw. The dehydrators enable the cooperative  to produce dry, ground tumeric powder locally, organically, and affordably. 

That's the genious of appropriate technologies and good community engagement - a year into the project, the beneficiaries have taken ownership and gotten even more value out of the project through their own initiative, motivation and creativity.

Organic Tumeric from the permaculture collective
Organic Tumeric from the permaculture collective
Drying tumeric in the dehydrator
Drying tumeric in the dehydrator
Tumeric packaged and ready for the shops
Tumeric packaged and ready for the shops
grating yucca to dry into flour
grating yucca to dry into flour
Dec 11, 2019

We won the Exemplary Project Award

Exemplary Project Award
Exemplary Project Award

It's our third award this year! 

Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association selected our Solar School Computer Lab project with the community of Tiritibol as an exemplary project in the field of renewable energy!

In 2018, ATC and community volunteers installed solar power to electrify classrooms and run a laptop computer lab at Tiritibol Primary School - a village 3 hours away from the nearest high school. 

It was a true collaborative project: supporters in the US donated used laptops; volunteers brought them down, donors covered installation costs, the community covered food and locally available materials.

The high level of participation from the community ensured the project's long term sustainability. They set up a Solar Committee, in charge of maintaining the system and managing a savings account for replacement parts.  The school teachers and Parent's Association helped install the system so several community leaders had an in-depth understanding of the technology.

The goal was to teach 180 rural school children how to type so they could access the same modern education of their urban counterparts. With basic computer skills, rural kids have a chance at high school, professional jobs, and university to break out of poverty.

In a follow-up visit 3 months ago, we returned to find that the laptop computers are not only teaching children how to type, but they began a distance high school program online! 

This year the first 7 teenagers are going to high school in their rural village, and that number is going to keep growing every year as their younger siblings get a head start with computer classes. 

PS: Still trying to remember the other two awards this year?

  • In June we won the Energy Globe Award for Guatemala innovative solutions to climate change. 
  • In October we won the American Made Solar Prize for designing a 20-year solar kit. 
Solar installed by volunteers powers computers
Solar installed by volunteers powers computers
Solar Computer Lab at Tiritibol public school
Solar Computer Lab at Tiritibol public school

Links:

 
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