Renewable Energy Development
Nicaragua, known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, has two beautiful coasts, some of the best surfing in the world, and one of the oldest cities in Latin America. And while tourism has increased greatly in this beautiful country and is now the second largest industry, it is still the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. In recent years, as Nicaragua has stabilized and come to be considered one of the safest countries in Latin America, tourism has boomed and millions of people flock to the country every year, attracted by low prices, lush scenery and some of the oldest colonial towns on the continent. There is an abundance of things to do and see in Nicaragua, from coffee plantations to tropical beaches, rainforests and volcanoes.
You will be helping improve the local environment and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. This project invites students, qualified engineers and scientists to collaborate, research, develop and apply renewable energy technologies in northern Nicaragua.
You will work with a dynamic NGO whose principal activities are:
* To conduct practical research into appropriate energy technologies
* To support community self-determination and local responsibility for the projects
* To increase the technical skill level and employability of local people
* To improve health and living standards of families and communities
* To preserve natural resources.
Past interns have worked on many projects, including battery charger designs, rural PV installations, solar cookers, developing markets for PV and solar thermal, grant writing, project management, computer work/web development, organizational development work, and general administration, recycling, and education.
The organisation works on a variety of projects based out of the community of Sabana Grande, Totogalpa, Madriz. Previous and on-going projects include:
El Centro Solar
The Centro Solar is run by the Alternative Energy Source Programme at the National University of Engineering whose goals are to promote, research, produce, and educate people around solar energy and solar energy products and the Solar Women of Totogalpa, a women’s cooperative. This broad focus requires work from a wide range of skilled people both locally and internationally. You can help develop the centre as it becomes a model solar energy site.
Low income Nicaraguans spend too much to buy poor quality natural gas or firewood for cooking. Gas is expensive, corrosive and only found in urban areas. Using firewood causes respiratory disease, a major killer among women who must cook for their families. The demand for firewood also causes deforestation in areas where dead wood is scarce.
The Solar Women of Totogalpa have a solar cooker team that develops simple and effective solar ovens and holds workshops to show others how to build and use them. Follow-up is important to work through the adjustment problems of this wholly different kind of cooking. Volunteers can help the solar cooker team and help develop sterilization techniques based on the most efficient solar cooker designs.
In addition to your specific project(s), you will be often invited to attend project consultations, meetings, workshops, and lectures. You will work alongside expert Nicaraguan staff who are experienced in solar energy and love to share their knowledge. This is a very flexible project, which can be designed around your interests and abilities.
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
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