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Our previous 7 Continents in 7 Years global sustainability initiatives have taken us far from our native shores, to points as far-ranging as the Amazon Rainforest, Ghana, Indonesia and Fiji. In 2015, Year Five of our commitment, we stayed closer to home geographically but encountered our most challenging project and terrain in the village of Portrero Platanal, Nicaragua, our North American sustainability destination.

Nicaragua, the largest country in the Central American isthmus, is widely known as the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes”—a breathtakingly beautiful and still mostly undeveloped country of majestic summits, imposing volcano cones and broad, sweeping vistas. It’s a landscape that inspires awe, and indeed the name Nicaragua itself commemorates a tribal chief of great wisdom and legendary power. But this matchlessly lovely place is also one of the poorest countries in all of the Americas. According to the United Nations Development Programme, 48% of the population of Nicaragua live below the poverty line, and almost 80% of the population live on less than $2 per day.

The subsistence farmers who make up a large percentage of the population can usually grow enough food to keep their families fed. But energy poverty—a lack of access to reliable electricity—is a much tougher and more complex challenge. In Nicaragua, almost 1 in 4 people lives off the grid, unable to do meaningful work after sunset, communicate beyond their immediate neighbors or learn about world news and developments. Cut off from the rich interconnectedness and information sharing of the modern world, their opportunities for a good education and life outside of a hardscrabble rural economy are slim to none.

But affordable, sustainable energy is something Viridian understands—and we’ve got the means to make it happen. We were privileged to be able to serve this hardworking village, and “turn on the light” for all of its inhabitants.

7 Continents in 7 Years: Nicaragua in the News!

7-Continents-in-7-YearsThe media is buzzing about our fifth 7 Continents in 7 Years journey to Nicaragua. Find out why the press is taking note of Viridian’s global sustainability efforts.

Working with Experts in Off-Grid Solar

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Learn more about Viridian’s Nicaragua project partner GRID Alternatives. Their planning and expertise helped us accomplish our most ambitious project to date.