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Florentina Choco: Belize’s first indigenous solar engineer

Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2016. 2:29 pm CST.

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By BBN Staff:The GEF Small Grant programme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)–Belize has inaugurated the Santa Teresa Solar Project.

The project grant of $100,000 was approved by the National Steering Committee of the GEF SGP on 28th February 2015 to Plenty International Belize Limited, through an intermediary partnership with Santa Teresa Village.

The project has empowered 387 residents of Santa Teresa to demonstrate the use of low carbon technology, and how to build capacity at the community level, through the installation and management of 68 renewable and sustainable solar energy systems.

Florentina Choco of Santa Teresa Village is the first Indigenous solar engineer from Belize to graduate from Barefoot College. Floretina traveled halfway around the world to India to learn solar engineering.

Since being back home, she has already trained fellow communities to set up 68 solar energy systems. 387 more villagers in Santa Teresa now have reliable and clean electricity.

Solar electrification in the home benefits all family members.

Technical support is provided by the Ministry of Energy, Rural Development and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center. The GEF Small Grants Programme continues to embody the very essence of sustainable development through “Community Action – Global Impact,” by providing financial and technical support to community-driven projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods.

This project influences the development of Belize`s 2030 National Sustainable Energy Strategy and Action Plan and is helping to set Belize on its transition pathway to greater use of sustainable energy.

 

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