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A Reminder to Cherish What We Have

I have been on four of the five 7 Continents in 7 Years trips and they are each unique in their own way. It has been life-changing for me in so many ways! Nicaragua was special because we had a lot of interactions with people. Collectively we built the power supply boxes by hand and installed solar panels on so many homes. It was a blessing to interact with the community and know that we had a part in bringing light to their homes for the first time. Through the expression on their faces you could see they were so appreciative of our work and their new solar systems.

It’s always fun to come back home and reflect on your journey, but I truly believe it changed us, the Viridian field, more than it changed the families in Platanal. I say this even after seeing the happiness within the community before and after we brought them solar power. This journey helps remind us, as leaders, that we stress over the little things in life and need to cherish what we have. I would challenge everyone reading this to truly see the positives you have in your life versus the negatives and it will help you realize how blessed you are. Sometimes it takes a trip to a developing country, where people are living happy and simple lives, to remember what matters most in life. My wish is for everyone to experience the trips for themselves and have your life change for the better!

My name is Ralph Malek 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.