Since October 2018, more than 30,000 asylum seekers from across Latin America have been dropped off on the streets of Phoenix after apprehension by ICE. Fleeing poverty, food shortages and political turmoil, these families left their homes behind in search of a better life. Many are Indigenous peoples from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. On arrival in the US, they are faced with further horror and trauma; children separated from their parents, held in cages and denied basic human rights.
Tonatierra has been a sanctuary for more than 175 families each month, providing a safe place to sleep, take a shower, and eat. They also provide medical support, clean clothing, translation services, legal advice, and travel arrangements to asylum court proceedings. CURRENT seeks to install solar energy panels at Tonatierra, which would enable them to reduce operating costs and service thousands of more people, adding new features such as a community garden with healthy food.
Indigenous peoples have always understood, and respected, the life-giving power of the sun. Today, there finally exists a technology that operates in alignment with the Indigenous philosophy of sustainability, reciprocity and living in accordance with the laws of Mother Nature: solar energy. CURRENT taps into this Indigenous wisdom and advances solar renewable energy as a solution for both the environment and communities living in poverty who are struggling to pay high energy costs.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).