As part of their campaign to create “sustainable energy communities” throughout Latin America and Africa, a Spanish university has provided a rural municipality in eastern Colombia with free electricity.
La Primavera, a town that still uses generators to create its energy, is home to 1,200 people who reportedly fight to keep coca growers and loggers away on a daily basis.
Since the Spanish university’s initiative began, the town has gained free electricity for a senior center, a community center, and a handful of homes and workshops.
The final aim of the plan is for residents of the town to eventually take over themselves. Solar panels installed to power workshops were used to train residents how to use and maintain their new modern equipment.
The project is led by professor Angeles Lopez Aguera. Lopez decided to work with universities in Latin America and Africa as he believed it was a good opportunity for mutual benefit. The targeted areas in Africa and Latin America get free sustainable energy, and the University of Santiago gets ample material for anthropological studies.
What attracted Aguera to La Primavera was that a group of local women who were able to sew elaborate traditional fabrics wanted to be able to sew simple designs, without patterns. For this, the professor installed lights and 10 sewing machines in the workshops, in return, he was able to study the process of fabric making in eastern Colombia.