Update October 25th.
Please check out the new campaign here.
We are ready to raise money to set up the first two Solar Gazebo Community centers.
Please support the solar gazebos on this new
The Solar Gazebo is a community supported installation that can serve multiple purposes throughout it’s life as rebuilding efforts progress and the community identifies new uses. At first it can be a disaster recovery hub, providing basic services such as cell phone charging, communication (GSM booster or local wifi), water filtration and nighttime lighting for safety. Once local conditions stabilize, it can be an interactive classroom for job training and education on solar energy system installation. Puerto Ricans need jobs, and solar installation jobs are one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. Growing the solar energy industry is the best way to create jobs, grow a resilient power grid, and decrease carbon pollution.
Please check out the new campaign here.
Updated October 10th.
The equipment that I brought that all of you paid for was very appreciated. There is still a lot more to do. Thousands and thousands of people are lacking the basic infrastructure that we take for granted every day. Sometimes I felt like it was just a drop in the bucket but every drop really did make a difference and sometimes I was overwhelmed with emotions.
This campaign got a lot of attention including a new film studio that wants to tell stories that need to be told. They asked if they could document the trip and even though I was a little weirded out about being on camera at first, I’m so glad that we are working together to tell these stories. I’ll keep you posted when there is something to see. They provided a lot of resources including a vehicle, which made everything so much easier.
In the meantime there are several follow up projects that have evolved from the first trip. In order organize all of the initiatives I’ve decided to start a mailing list. This is my effort to build a coalition of partners focused on rebuilding Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico’s power grid using sustainable technologies, especially solar power.
The projects include
1: Developing a distribution channel for personal solar chargers so that people in Puerto Rico have access to them. (about to order a bunch more)
2: Developing a small solar refrigerator for insulin
3: Developing a Solar community center to provide charging, lighting, and IT
4: Creating group buying programs to consolidate orders and save on shipping of residential and commercial solar equipment.
You can learn a little more about the thinking so far at this new website:
Based on the amazing donations received so far I've raised the goal and I am adding larger solar chargers and biolite cook stoves to this trip. Any funds leftover from this shipment will be delivered after my first trip. I have been offered to ship goods for free once the shipping options open up, via either air traffic or sea traffic. I need to asses the situation. The lack of information is crippling.
One thing that would help get supplies would be for congress to release the "shackles" on the people of Puerto Rico known as The Jones Act . But the US Congress has rarely been kind to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico needs our help. The island was devastated by two hurricanes in a row. 100% of the power grid is down. There is no running water. Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Puerto Ricans are US citizens.
Puerto Rico needs help. I'm traveling down there this friday september 29th to try to get to my mom's house in Luquillo. I haven't heard from her and need to see how she is.
I want to bring a suitcase full of portable solar chargers and life straw water filters to distribute while I'm there. My assumption is that the cellular networks will start working before the power grid does.
These solar chargers will charge cell phones and will run some LED lights. This will allow communications to resume and people can get in touch with their families.
The Lifestraw water filters are very well designed and affordable and there is still no running water. Water borne diseases are going to be a big problem.
Biolite Campstoves can be used with sticks, aka biomass. You can't bring fuel on the plane so these were great to bring. There are plenty of sticks on the ground!
I'll distribute them as I travel through PR to people who seem to need them most, starting with the Senior housing facility where my mom lives.
I'm also going to rent a satellite phone with unlimited minutes so that people can make contact. I'll power the phone with the same solar chargers.
If you want to just purchase the items I will need them to arrive by thursday the 28th. You can ship items here:
844 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn NY 11225
If you want to PayPal me directly I'm solarjohn @ gmail.com
If I have extra funds I will pay to check an extra suitcase. If it goes above that I'll get a bigger shipment delivered via a private plane that is offering to carry cargo once the airport opens for private planes. I'll deal directly with the manufacturer of solar chargers to get as good of a deal as possible. If anyone has contacts at lifestraw please reach out to me.
I'll need to place the order for lifestraws wednesday morning and finalize the chargers order by thursday.
- Ralph Stanton
- David Mans
- Jeff Verkouteren
- Elizabeth Simons
- Emily Lutfey