Through MCC-supported renewable energy projects, entire communities in Nicaragua are entering an age of electricity without relying on fossil fuels. Marvin Velasquez, left, and Milyer Enrique Guzmán install a solar panel on the roof of Panfilo Guzmán's home.
MCC partner organization Asociación Fenix, or Asofenix for short, focuses on solar power for three primary purposes: to pump water to families' homes, to pump water for drip irrigation to small plots of land and to provide limited electricity to homes. In the community of Bálsamo, José Armando Reyes, center, digs a hole for a post that will support a platform for the water tank.
The completed platform holds a water tank for the drip irrigation system in the community of Bálsamo. A solar panel provides energy for a pump that carries water to a tank. From there pipes carry water to the fields.
The solar-powered irrigation system allows farmer José Felix Salazar to grow crops during the dry months when his land would normally sit idle. The plot of young tomato and watermelon plants offers rows of green among brown fields. “Many have come to see it, and they all say the plot is beautiful,” Salazar says.
José Felix Salazar, left, cuts millet in his field with his son John and daughter Anielka. Salazar dreams that solar-powered irrigation will give him the opportunity to grow more, so that his children don’t leave rural Nicaragua to work in Costa Rica or in maquilas in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital.
MCC partner organization Asofenix strives to make solar power projects as grounded in the local community as possible. In Corozo, the team of six technicians, including Pánfilo Enrique Guzmán, center, had their first real-life test in wiring Guzmán’s home.
Teenager Jasmina Mendoza, right, is one of the six technicians trained in Corozo. She works alongside Jaime Muñoz, founder of Asofenix. Click here to read more about Muñoz and his quest to bring solar power and other sources of renewable energy to rural Nicaragua.
In Corozo, Kenneth José Ortíz Guzmán, who swings on a hammock outside his home, celebrated along with his family when the solar power system was installed last January and light illuminated the family’s rural home. Beside him in the hammock is Winston Velasquez. Read more about the family’s story in the May/June issue of A Common Place magazine.