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Help Maura and Milton’s family get electricity!

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(Para la versión en español ver abajo)

Helping Maura and Milton’s family install solar panels in their remote farm without electricity.


Hi ! I am Ana and because of the COVID-19 pandemic I have been working remotely from my native Costa Rica since November 2020. After 16 years in Europe, this experience has enabled me to reconnect with my roots, and experience my culture as I have never been able to before. As part of this cultural re-immersion, I visited the permaculture farm of an indigenous family in Yorkín, a remote Bribri community in the Talamanca region. Yorkin can only be accessed by driving in an all-terrain 4x4 on a dust road past a river, around 30 minutes from the closest town, and then taking a boat for an hour or by walking three hours in the jungle.





The visit to this organic farm was truly magical. The family: Maura, Milton, Yisamil and Yuendy, was incredibly friendly and happy to share their culture and lifestyle with us. Their farm was fascinating, especially all the native cacao trees they have planted and the diversity of different plants and crops their farm produces! The food they served us was incredibly fresh and tasty: a chicken they had killed especially for us because we were their guests, plantain “picadillo”, palm hearts and brasilian spinach. One thing that shocked me when I visited their kitchen was that there was no fridge or freezer and their lights in the kitchen were candles. I then realised they didn’t have any electricity!






Coincidentally Milton commented: ‘We are making these tours so we can finance solar panels for our home. We need the electricity so Maura can sew clothes to make an income to purchase the first necessity items we don’t produce .’ The number of tours they make has been dramatically reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their project of being self-sustainable with regard to their food while protecting the environment is truly amazing! They mainly survive on their crops, which include cacao, different sorts of bananas, vanilla, rice, and wheat, and their chickens, but in order to buy essentials that they cannot produce, they still need an income, which is why they give guided tours of their farm and host tourists.





The dream of the family is to get solar panels that will enable them not only, to take on more activities to increase their income such as repairing and sewing clothes to sell and making chocolate with an electric machine (‘conchera’) to sell, but also to be able to keep informed about what is going on in the outside world, and get access to educational tools online for their children. Maura expressed to me her concerns about their children's future: "We are faced with a real technological blockage, we know we need it, especially for the children but we can’t afford to install solar panels yet because of the lack of tourism since the pandemic started, and we are still waiting to get an internet connection”.





The family doesn't have a stable mobile internet connection but they hope the national electric company (ICE) will be installing a tower that will enable them to have a faster, more reliable connection. This, in addition to new solar panels, will present them with many opportunities from improvements to their daily life, to free educational programs online for themselves and their children.




What I find truly admirable is that the family knows where their priorities lie: "Our main priority will always be to be self-sustainable with regards to food, and protect the environment, but we do feel that we need technology, especially for the girls, so they can learn languages." Milton tells me. The Talamanca region’s economy is heavily dependent on foreign tourism, and many jobs in the region require being fluent in english at least.






Both Maura and Milton’s family and myself would be incredibly grateful if you can help them with their cause and maintain their sustainable way of life but also develop their farm and their skills and education.

This is why I am starting this crowdfunding campaign, to cover installing solar panels for Maura and Milton's family and to buy a chocolate making machine so they can generate the income they need to survive.


What is the goal of this project?


I am fundraising to buy and install solar panels and batteries for electricity for Maura and Milton’s family in Yorkin, Talamanca, Costa Rica because they can’t afford it and they need it in order to survive financially. Currently the family does not have enough money to get solar panels and the national electrical company does not serve the remote area where they are located. In Yorkin, only the health centre and the primary school have solar panels which provide electricity.

Installing solar panels and purchasing a chocolate conchera for Maura and Milton’s family will enable them to attain the income they need to buy essential products they cannot produce in their farm.


Why is this important to me?


I truly believe that the World should learn from the Bribri culture how to respect nature and the environment without falling into exploitation. With so many ventures resulting in mass destruction of the natural world, this is my way to hopefully help, not only Maura and Milton’s family to get equal opportunities, but also to help preserve a dying, marginalised culture that has profound respect for nature and the environment.


What will the money be used for?


  • 4 solar panels of 440W each, 1 inverter 120V 3.0kW and 4 gel batteries of 12V 150AH each : £2,395 ( ¢2,060,033; $3,322)
  • Mounting materials: £323 (¢277,138; $446.35)
  • Technical installation (including transport to Yorkin) : £558 (¢480,005; $774.05)
  • Chocolate machine: £405 (¢350000 , $565)
  • SWIFT transfer fees: £50 approximately.
  • The rest is to cover the costs of the GoFundMe platform (2.9% + £0.25 por transacción)


Please donate, every little helps!


​​Other ways you can help


1. Please help me spread the word! Use this link to share on social media and email: 


2. Come on a tour of Maura and Milton’s farm: Finca Yismail, in Yorkin, they will be happy to share their culture and lifestyle with you! And it helps them raise funds for their preservation projects too! You can book through: Atec do make sure you mention Maura and Milton’s names when booking a Yorkin tour!


3. Come and volunteer at Maura and Milton’s farm, they sometimes need a hand in the farm, or English lessons, or help with building their website/technological platforms! If interested, get in touch here.


Thank you so much for all of your support. We would not be able to complete this project without it!!!



Lots of Love,


Ana, Maura, Milton, Yismail and Yuendi



Disclosure about the country of payment


Because Gofundme does not operate in Costa Rica, I will have to receive the funds in my personal British bank account and then transfer the money directly to Maura and Milton’s Costa Rican bank account using Global pay .


----- Versión en Español:


¡Ayúdele a Maura y Milton a tener el privilegio de la electricidad al igual que todos nosotros!


Hola, soy Ana, y estoy haciendo una campaña de crowdfunding para brindar a la familia de Maura y Milton electricidad y una máquina eléctrica para hacer chocolate (conchera), ambas esenciales para su sostenibilidad y poder mantener su modo de vida.



Maura, Milton, Yismai y Yuendi son una familia indígena que vive en su finca integral en Yorkín, una comunidad Bribri en Talamanca, Costa Rica, que no tiene algo tan básico y necesario como lo es la electricidad. No se justifica que en estos tiempos y en un país tan pequeño aún existan comunidades sin electricidad.





El proyecto de esta familia es ser alimentariamente autosuficiente y a la vez proteger y regenerar el medio ambiente. Ellos viven de sus cosechas como lo es el cacao, varias especies de banano, vainilla, arroz, y trigo entre otros, y de sus gallinas. Sin embargo, para poder comprar productos esenciales que no pueden producir, necesitan ingresos, parte de los cuales obtienen haciendo visitas guiadas de su finca a turistas nacionales e internacionales. Esta actividad ha sido reducida dramáticamente por la pandemia del COVID-19.



La finca de Maura y Milton no tiene electricidad aparte de la que les proporciona un pequeño panel solar que solo alcanza para dar luz a los dormitorios, y cuya batería tiene que ser reemplazada cada tres años.

El sueño de esta familia es aumentar el número de paneles solares que les permita, no sólo emprender actividades para incrementar sus ingresos, como por ejemplo la costura y la producción de chocolate a través de una máquina eléctrica (conchera), sino también poder informarse de lo que está pasando en el mundo exterior así como poder tener acceso a oportunidades tecnológicas para sus hijas. “Tenemos una verdadera traba tecnológica, que afecta mucho las oportunidades que les podemos dar a nuestras hijas”, me dice Maura.

Esta familia aún no tiene una conexión estable al Internet móvil; sin embargo, y afortunadamente, el Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) ya se ha comprometido a instalar una torre que les dará señal. Esto, junto con la electricidad que van a obtener de los paneles solares, no sólo les facilitará la vida cotidiana sino que les proveerá con muchas más oportunidades incluyendo programas educativos en línea.




Lo que he encontrado realmente admirable es que Maura y Milton saben cuáles son sus prioridades:

Nuestras prioridades siempre van a ser la autosuficiencia alimentaria, y proteger el medio ambiente, pero si sentimos que necesitamos tecnología, especialmente para que las niñas puedan aprender idiomas.” me comenta Milton.


Maura y Milton, y yo, estaríamos sumamente agradecidos por cualquier ayuda que puedan brindar y así poder hacer el sueño de su familia una realidad, a la vez que puedan continuar con su modo de vida sostenible.


Para resumir, estoy empezando este proyecto de crowdfunding con el objetivo de recaudar los fondos necesarios para cubrir los costos de compra, transporte e instalación de paneles solares en la finca de Maura y Milton, y también ayudarlos a cubrir en su totalidad los gastos para la compra de una máquina de hacer chocolate (conchera). Esto con el objetivo de que ellos puedan, por sí solos y en un futuro no muy lejano, recaudar los fondos necesarios para sobrevivir y cumplir sus sueños.


¿En qué se gastará el dinero recaudado?


SISTEMA SOLAR QUE INCLUYE: 4 PANELES FOTOVOLTAICOS, 440W, 1 INVERSOR 120V 3.0kW Y 4 BATERIAS GEL 12V 150AH: £2,395 ( ¢2,060,033; $3,322)

Materiales y accesorios de montaje: £323 (¢277,138; $446.35)

servicio Técnico por instalación : £558 (¢480,005; $774.05)

Conchera para chocolate: £405 (¢350000 , $565)

Costo de la transferencia por SWIFT: £50 (¢43,089;$69.5) aproximadamente.

El resto es para cubrir los costos de la plataforma gofundme (2.9% + £0.25 por transacción)


Por favor haga una donación. ¡Cualquier poquito ayuda!


Otras maneras de ayudar


1. ¡Por favor ayuden a compartir el enlace en medios sociales y WhatsApp : ! Entre más gente vea esto, mayores serán las probabilidades de llegar a nuestra meta!


2. Pueden hacer un tour en la finca de Maura y Milton’s farm: Finca Yismail. Ellos estarían muy contentos de compartir su cultura y su modo de vida con ustedes y les ayudaría a ellos a recaudar fondos para sus proyectos de permacultura también. Pueden hacer reservaciones con Atec. Recuerde mencionar el nombre de Maura y Milton cuando reserven el tour de Yorkin.


3. Pueden hacer voluntariado en la finca de Maura y Milton: a veces necesitan ayuda en la finca, o clases de Inglés o ayuda con la construcción de un sitio Web. Si le interesa, contáctenme aquí  y les pondré en contacto con Milton.

Muchas gracias a todos por su apoyo! No podríamos completar el proyecto sin su ayuda.


Con mucho amor,


Ana, Maura, Milton, Yismai and Yuendi






Aclaración sobre el modo de pago


En vista de que “Gofundme" no opera en Costa Rica, es necesario recibir el dinero en mi cuenta bancaria británica y luego hacer una transferencia a la cuenta costarricense de Maura y Milton con Global Pay . Mostraré evidencia de la transferencia así como fotos de los paneles solares cuando estén instalados :-) .




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