Lighting Up Hope and Communities

producing and marketing solar products made from recycled solar cells and solar cookers
2008 SEED Award Winner Clean Energy Nicaragua

Lighting up Hope and Communities aims to become a model for the creation of a financially self-sustaining business selling renewable energy products. Mujeres Solares de Totogalpa is a motivated group of women who are determined to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families in rural North West Nicaragua.

Working in partnership with a university research centre, an NGO and experts on solar technology, they are aiming to set up a co-operative enterprise, Lighting Up Hope and Communities, producing photovoltaic panels from recycled solar cells, solar cookers and dryers, and solar cooked/ dried food products and medicinal plants. These products will be made at and sold from a new Solar Center in the community.

The partnership expects the production centres to become completely self-sufficient, and expand to support other community development projects within 5 years. It also aims to support local, regional and national outreach and education efforts to bring this renewable energy development model to other communities.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Lighting Up Hope generates new employment opportunities as well as influences energy efficiency through production and marketing of solar products made from recycled solar cells and solar cookers.
  • Providing infrastructure and assistance for the production of new energy technologies.
  • Developing alternative energy strategies addressing the local needs.
  • Producing photovoltaic panels from recycled solar cells, solar cookers and dryers, and solar cooked/ dried food products and medicinal plants.
  • Launching a non-profit cooperative in to produce and sell solar products, using local expertise.



This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Center for Research, Promotion and Production of Renewable Energy, Program for Alternative Energy Sources (PFAE): national Engineering University of Nicaragua - this programme represents the partners of the project.

Mujeres Solares de Totogalpa (MST): a women’s cooperative creating a model, self-sustaining, solar community, providing clean energy alternatives to its habitants and producing and selling solar products to increase employment.

Skyheat: provides expert technical advice on photovoltaics(PV’s) and cookers/dryers, and Skyheat is the fiscal sponsor of the Renewable Energy Center in the United States.

SUNI Solar: training in PV and the key source for imported solar equipment

The Engineers in Technical, Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-learning Program -ETHOS: part of the University of Dayton. Students and professors visit Nicaragua to participate in technical exchange in renewable energies.

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