A Memory Ingrained Forever
It’s impossible to compare journeys as each trip has is its own unique experience that stays with you forever. However this most recent 7 Continents in 7 years trip to Nicaragua stood out from the rest for me as the group worked collectively to bring light to Platanal. It was a pleasure to finally see the results of many months of planning with GRID Alternatives come to life to help the community of Platanal.
One of the highlights of this trip was the incredible community of Platanal. They were kind, generous and warm people with so much to share with us. They may have been timid but they welcomed us to their community with open arms. I was lucky enough to be able to communicate with them in Spanish and learn about their families and lives, which made for an even more memorable connection to this village.
Secondly this was my first 7 Continents in 7 years project where each of us were involved in the same project, and the mission of the project was clear and the benefit to the community was immediate. However, there will be a positive ripple effect in the community as families experience the unlimited possibilities that light in their homes will bring such as extended hours to study, work and enjoy with their family. The excitement built as we worked and when we finished mounting the solar panel and wiring the home we were able to celebrate the power of the sun and see the family’s joy seeing a light turn on in their home for very first time.
The emotions of the villagers were simply contagious. Their elation was present without words. The children were pointing in fascination, jumping and giggling. The memory of that moment will be ingrained in my mind forever. And the best part about it was knowing that they hadn’t even begun to experience the power of having free clean electricity in their homes.
And lastly each of us who has the opportunity to be part of these initiatives is directly impacted on a personal level. There is so much to gain when you allow yourself to be outside of your comfort zone. I was so impressed by the team spirit the night we spent under bug nets on cots in the community. Though we endured a bit of discomfort we were all able to share an indescribable experience that evening as we walked under a beautiful starry sky to visit a home that was appreciating their first night with light in their home. When we asked how the light will change their lives, they simply said “It changes everything.” These journeys stretch us to leave the luxuries of the western world, take time away from our busy lives, friends and family but what we gain and learn outweighs any discomfort along the way.
Each of us learn:
Just how strong we are
To appreciate the simplicities in life
Kindness can make the world of a difference
Serving others is a wonderful emotion you can’t feel elsewhere
7 Continents trips build lifelong friendships
Gratitude can be shared without words
I will never forget the community of Platanal and their kind hard-working spirits. I look forward to sharing the continuous progress made in Platanal through the power of the sun. Keep an eye out for updates GenV.
My name is Hannah Wells and I am Generation V.
In March 2015, Viridian traveled to the breathtakingly beautiful and still mostly undeveloped “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.” To complete our most ambitious project to date, we hiked to the small agricultural community of Portrero Platanal, an off-the-grid village that’s inaccessible by car. With the help of the nonprofit organization GRID Alternatives, we were able to install clean, reliable solar systems on the homes of 40 families, bringing the opportunity for a better life to an entire community.
Donna & Kevin French
Lisa Pierre Louis
Jenna & Matt Stockwell