Chairman of Switch Energy Alliance (SEA), Dr. Scott Tinker, recently met in person with students from the Switch Energy Club at the Universidad de Pamplona - Colombia. Dr. Tinker was in Cartagena, Colombia for the AAPG 2022 International Conference and Exhibition (ICE) Last year these students participated in the installation of solar panels in an U’wa village in Colombia, partially funded by SEA. One of the students, Paula Ramirez, was part of the team that installed solar power at the village of Gunchukwa in Northern Colombia featured in the documentary film Switch On. You can read more about the Gunchukwa village installation here.
Luis Gentil Sua Peñaloza, a member of the Switch Energy Club, discussed during their meeting how life has changed for residents of the village where the students installed the solar panels. Sua also said that even though they did not speak the same language, the meeting with Dr. Tinker was very “fluid and dynamic” because, “Dr. Tinker is a person willing to listen, advise and guide from his knowledge and experience.”
The solar panels installed in the U’wa village have been working properly and continuously despite a wave of winter weather in the region, and residents are happy to have electricity for refrigeration and lighting. Refrigeration allows the people in the village to make better use of the food they grow, and lights help provide a better education for children and allow council meetings to be held at night.
Sua said the best moment of the installation project was turning the lights on and realizing that the hard work of everyone involved had been worth it. He said it was inspiring to see the emotion of the villagers and made him want to work on similar projects in other villages.
The Universidad de Pamplona - Colombia Switch Energy Club is currently working on providing education to younger students in Colombia about energy and the energy transition and will attend the XV Technical Week of Geology, Geological Engineering, and Geosciences as a club at the end of August. SEA is proud to support the Universidad de Pamplona - Colombia Switch Energy Club and their work to help end energy poverty in Colombia.
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