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A partnership formed in the rural rain forest of Puerto Rico made history this week with the first conversion of a deep well community water source to a solar energy system in Camino Pagan.

Barefoot College’s newest 24 solar mamas, who complete their intensive training as solar engineers this Saturday, worked together to install the solar panels provided by Barefoot College and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Solar Mamas from Puerto Rico installing the panels in Camino Pagan.

These 24 extraordinary women have already made an impact on their community,” said Rodrigo Paris, Barefoot College’s Latin American Director. “It’s a happy day for Puerto Rico.”

The pump came on Tuesday morning and pumped at an average rate through the day of 8.8 gpm. 

“This is what we expected for going up to the temporary tank 60 feet up the hill.  Once the new 12,000-gallon storage tank is built next to the well,” said Allison Mason, co-owner of Sun Juice Solar, “that rate will increase by about a third.”

This collaborative partnership came together in an effective, locally organized way.

Bosque Modelo, Barefoot College’s ground partner for this first-ever training in the Americas, has been critical to the overall project’s success and helped organize the water project. The local NGO designed and executed the Rural Acueducts project in the Bosque Modelo region that identified the need of the community (Camino Pagan) for a solar pump.

Sun Juice provided the solar equipment and expertise to ensure the pump functions at peak capacity. Frankie Alemany of Sun Power Energy dedicated his own time and company resources to help guide the Solar Mamas in their work

“The women solar trainees were avid learners and will serve their communities well with all of the knowledge gained,” Mason said.

The Solar Mamas graduation is Saturday. We are seeking donors and supporters of the ongoing work here in Puerto Rico as this first phase of our project is completed. With your help, we can empower these new trainees in the future and ensure this innovative application of solar power to disaster recovery and energy resilience continues. Click here to give to this project today.

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