Volunteer Tourism – SunPower at Work and Play

A team of 14 volunteers funded by SunPower Foundation including members of SunPower Corporation, SunPower distributors, friends and associates have spent the last few days working jointly with members of the community of Juluchuca in solarizing the new turtle sanctuary.  The founders of La Tortuga Feliz, have built a new turtle sanctuary after 10 years in the same location in order to provide clean and fertile sand.  By moving to a new location, they reduce the threat to incubating eggs that comes from bacteria, parasites and diseases that accumulate after too many years of constant use of the same location. This decision was made in parallel with the contribution of SunPower to bring solar power to the sanctuary.  Taking advantage of the investment by SunPower Foundation in bringing “clean” energy to the turtle sanctuary, the members felt it was an opportune time to likewise move to “clean” turf to continue their work of turtle rescue.

SunPower Foundation donated sufficient funds to electrify the fence in order to protect against predators such as raccoons, dogs,  “tejones” and other animals that often breach the fences of the current sanctuary. Additionally, enough funds were available for a solar-powered water pump. The pump is used to set up a hydration system for use in keeping turtle nests moist. By maintaining the appropriate temperature in the sand, you can maximize the number of eggs that hatch and survive.  As a result, the volunteers of the turtle sanctuary will no longer need to use gasoline to power pumps and lights, significantly reducing the threat of contamination of the site by fossil fuels.  What a perfect way to start fresh with a clean slate – clean and fresh turtle incubation site plus clean energy powering protection of this endangered species.

We want to thank SunPower for their commitment to the turtle sanctuary and the local all volunteer staff. The support of SunPower will make a direct impact on improving the turtle sanctuary results and hopefully increasing the number of turtles rescued.  We also want to thank The Ocean Foundation for their part as fiscal sponsor of this project.  We hope this will be the first of many visits by the team from SunPower in brining clean, solar power to this community.  Finally, we want to thank Elirmex, our Mexican partner in providing all the hardware necessary for the installation.

As a side note, Playa Viva runs 100% off grid on a solar power system installed by Elirmex.  Pictured above are a few of the volunteers from SunPower and from the community of Juluchuca and the turtle sanctuary.

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