High quality coffee is grown in the mountains, often far away from the national electrical grid. One third of all Nicaraguan families do not have access to conventional electricity.
Low income women and their families who have bought solar systems found three major types of benefits. 1) Benefits to the family: Family health improves by replacing kerosene lamps that produce toxic pollution and soot in their house. It allows the family to study at night and makes household tasks and care of the sick easier. New electric appliances, like blenders, save labor and time. 2) It saves the family money each month on batteries, fuel & long trips to charge cell phones. These savings can be used for better nutrition. 3) Solar helps women generate money in their microenterprises. Women who have home-based grocery stores say that neighbors are attracted to their stores at night. Some may come in to watch a show on the new solar-powered TV and end up buying their food there. Solar energy can pump water for the house, animals and to irrigate crops.
This allows women microfranchisees, and youth technicians supported by TecAp, to diversify their sources of income. For the poor, saving money and increasing income create a higher quality of life and provide more choices.