An Unexpected Surprise

June 14, 2012 | By | Reply More

The countryside of El Salvador

A few days ago, I returned from the small nation of El Salvador located in Central America. Like many small Central American nations, El Salvador’s environment suffers from the issues of exploitative mining, deforestation, and climate change, so the sight of an example of stainable energy was greatly welcomed. While in El Salvador, fourteen other students and I had the unforgettable opportunity to visit the people of two rural countryside villages called La Hacienda and El Junquillo. While on a tour of the village of La Hacienda, I was surprised to find two large solar panels powering a communal water well system. This well system utilizes a water pump that is powered by solar energy to extract the water that is located deeply underground in a nearby aquifer. Once the water is pumped up and reaches the surface, it can be collected. The water is then pumped via long stretches of tubing to a mountain top reservoir.

Solar at work.

This intricate system, which is completely powered by the Salvadoran sun, allows La Hacienda and many of its neighboring villages to have access to clean and safe drinking water not only to drink but to cook and clean with without the fear of disease. Our tour guide explained that these solar panels work with great reliability and that power outages, typically caused by something like extreme weather, are few and far between. I was very, very impressed with the people of La Hacienda and El Junquillo. Being a community that is made up of a majority of farmers, the people seemed to share an innate and obvious respect for the earth that they lived on.

I think that their commitment to renewable and stainable energy is simply a respectful tip of the hat toward the conservation of the soil which they rely so much on. I personally believe that their mentality toward conversation is very noble and one that we should all strive to emulate. Whether we live in Phoenix, Arizona or in the rural countryside of El Salvador, sustainable energy is a vital and essential source of energy that we should not ignore.

Solar at work.

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About the Author ()

Hi, my name is Steven Soto. I am currently a Junior at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona. I believe that the IEA can be a great tool and resource for other students (no matter which continent that they live on) to explore new types of efficient energy, while helping them spread the concept of sustainability to further environmental change.

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