Program Details

* Min age 18 * Minimum 2 months commitment - 30+ hours a week * Enthusiasm and interest to work in renewable energy and community development. Those with prior experience are especially encouraged to apply * Intermediate to Advanced Spanish skills (Les
Managua, Nicaragua
Program Type:
Intern Abroad
Degree Level:
Year Round
Work Types:
Engineering, Sciences & Environment

Program Overview

Program Description:
This project will afford you the opportunity to gain experience in implementing and maintaining renewable energy technologies in rural communities, building and maintaining solar panels. 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 throughout 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.

* Min age 18 * Minimum 2 months commitment - 30+ hours a week * Enthusiasm and interest to work in renewable energy and community development. Those with prior experience are especially encouraged to apply * Intermediate to Advanced Spanish skills (Lessons available) * Full travel & medical insurance * Necessary vaccinations * Necessary flights & visas

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 throughout the country. Previous and ongoing projects include: El Centro Solar The Centro Solar is a demonstration solar energy campus, creating a 'solar culture' based around this abundant and renewable resource. The Centro Solar is run by the Solar Women of Totogalpa, a women's cooperative with the goals of promoting, researching, producing, and educating people around solar energy and solar energy products. 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. Solar Ovens 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 also have a solar cooker team that develops simple, effective and inexpensive 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. Suni Solar Suni Solar is a sister-NGO that recently completed a government project to electrify 900 rural schools, and is continuously doing rural installations for various other projects. Qualified volunteers are welcome to work on installations with Suni Solar as part of their time with the project. Photovoltaic (PV) Lighting We work in the rural community of Sabana Grande to build and install PV solar panels that power fluorescent lighting at night. Night in Nicaragua falls around 6:00 PM nearly all year. Rural families have only the light of candles, kerosene and diesel fuel (very polluting indoors). This inadequate light may cost $10-15 a month, or up to a third of the monthly family income. We have taught local people to build solar panels and install the panels, charge controller, battery and wiring necessary to run two fluorescent tube lights for four hours each evening. With micro-loans, poor families can own these systems after a few years and enjoy years of free light after that. You can help install the panels and help train and certify local people as solar system technicians, ensuring knowledge stays in the community. In addition to your specific project(s), you will be often invited to attend installations, 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.
Fee: $650 USD Project Fee for the first month ($500 for each additional month) + £249 GBP Placement Fee What's Included: Project Fee includes all food, accommodation, 24 hour support, project activities. We charge a flat, one-off Placement Fee of £249 GBP per person per project. This covers our costs for promoting the project and providing our services. We offer full pre-departure support (for all necessary flights, visas and vaccinations) and ongoing assistance throughout your placement.

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