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Three Women learn to light up their Village with Climate Smart Tech

Reusable and clean energy are two of the focal points of every national discussion on climate science and adaptation to climate change. Rather than use carbon-based fuels which emit greenhouse gases, solar energy provides a clean alternative with a minimal environmental footprint. Recently, residents from the south in Santa Elena Village have become the beneficiary of a solar power system that would come with a fee of little more than six dollars a month that would offset maintenance costs. Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung travelled to Santa Elena Village and spoke to the three women who have made history by travelling across the world to India to enlighten as well as to illuminate their village.

Paul Mahung: “Three women were presented certificates of recognition for their productive services in their respective communities in rural Toledo. The three Mayan women had respectively left their families and rural community to pursue six months of intensive training in India and have since returned home as certified Solar Lights Engineers. With support of their families, friends, village leaders and helpful organizations the women have now successfully established and installed needed and very helpful solar lights to households in Santa Teresa and to the Santa Elena villagers in this district. At a recent recognition ceremony in Santa Elena Village Toledo Solar Light Engineers Miriam Kahal, Christina Choc of Santa Elena and Florentina Choco of Santa Teresa spoke to Love News.

Christina Choc Solar Light Engineer Santa Elena Toledo: “My sister Miriam and I went for a training in India and that was in 2017 and we did a training at Barefoot College.

Mirim Call Solar Light Technician Santa Elena Toledo: “First when the equipment reached here we set up our equipment in the office where we were going to do the workshop, we installed the panel, we connected the battery to the panel and then we put the power supply on the inverter and after that everything was set so we started to test the lights and the charge controller to see if everything is working good. We test it with the power supply and then we go to the families and we installed the lights there for each family, we do two families per day and we have finished the work. Everything is installed and each family has lights in their homes now.

Florentino Choc Solar Light Technician Santa Teresa Toledo: “In 2013 I went to India and studied for 6 months and then returning back I started to do my work in installing the Solar system.”

Paul Mahung: “Do they pay a small fee for solar lights?”
Florentino Choc Solar Light Technician Santa Teresa Toledo: “Yes the monthly fee is $6 for the 100 Watts and the 40 Watts is $4 and the Solar Lantern is a dollar a month and its benefitting my community. Santa Teresa’s solar system is working good, 68 households have light and the light is working properly .”

Paul Mahung: The well deserving certificates of recognition were presented to each of the three women by National Coordinator of GEF Small Grants Program Lionel Requena, the Ministry of Rural Development Coordinator Ernest Banner, the Manager of Plenty Belize Mark Miller and Barefoot College of India Latin American regional Director Rodrigo Paris.

Paul Mahung Toledo Correspondent Love news.

The solar project was the result of a partnership amongst the GEF Fund, Plenty Belize, and the Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development.