Our class for the girls will be taught in March of 2013, and materials are on their way to Guatemala. Based on the girls' goals of operating a cooperative and the business potential, we have expanded the course.
Originally, we would be teaching them the basics of circuits and solar technology. Now we are adding transistors to the curriculum. Transistors are the basis of all electronic devices. Having this key knowledge, the girls would be able to create a variety of businesses to support themselves. Having this skill set will allow the girls the flexibility to respond to the needs of their community as it integrates with technology and their knowledge will give them a level of personal power to take care of their needs and their families.
In March, we also hope to talk with the girls about their school being the base for classes that we would teach to fellow nonprofits about solar, solar cooperatives and creating solar businesses. This would also give the girls a chance to work with others outside their community, building their people skills.
In the middle photo you will see our girls: Yolanda, Elisabeth, Selena, Reyna and Lorena.
Here are some photographs and a new video from our recent trip to Guatemala! These are some of the young women that are planning to learn solar and circuits from our course and from there, build their own solar cooperative, providing steady employment for them and income for their families.
I want to mention one particular point about the video. If you watch closely, you will see the girls smiling as they climb the ladder to the roof where our solar panels are installed. For all of them, this is the VERY FIRST time they have done this! Yet their dream is so compelling, that they are challenging themselves to broaden their experiences and learn new skills.
I hope the glimpse of our girls taking their first steps towards their dream of a solar cooperative inspires you to help us make it become real, to give them the skills they desire to fulfill their hopes and make their dreams come true.
We recently went to Guatemala to meet with our partners, mentors and prospective students in this project.
Our mentors are all female, to help our students overcome cultural shyness and get the most from the training. We have done our best to draw from the local culture, so that the women who mentor the girls are aware of cultural cues, language and have experience with solar. The girls are very modest young women, yet once we got them to the roof, their curiousity took hold and they examined the examined the solar array thoroughly. During our visit, our partner organization, Starfish, was filming the girls for a video promoting the class.
Currently, we are on schedule to teach the class in February in Guatemala. We are accepting volunteers to travel with us for this course. We have posted 2 links to photos of the girls on Flickr and will add more as time permits.
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