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Dayton Engineer

University of Dayton students travel to Guatemala to install solar power

By Karen Updyke, School of Engineering

In May 2022, eleven students from the University of Dayton will travel to Guatemala to participate in an ETHOS International Breakout through the School of Engineering The Ethos Center. The students, representing all engineering disciplines, will be working on several projects, including installation of solar power in the homes of two families near Lake Atitlán with ETHOS community partner organization, Commission to Every Nation.

According to Lindsey Temple, The Ethos Center coordinator, “In certain parts of Guatemala, select homes, with the financial means, are able to connect to the grid. They will then split it off to their neighbors and charge a monthly premium. The solar installations in the two homes near Lake Atitlán will provide power for the families for less than half of the current cost and will allow them to have more financial stability.”

ETHOS International Breakout

During an international breakout, students have the opportunity to work with non-government organizations to improve the quality of life of local communities.

Student projects are varied, but past immersions have included helping to build sustainable farms, clean water systems, and implementing renewable technologies — solar cooking, solar PV, micro-hydroelectric systems, solar water heating systems, and biogas digesters — in rural communities.  

ETHOS International Breakout Program Details

International breakouts generally include:

  • Instruction and hands-on experience on local projects
  • Tour of completed projects
  • Tour of local partners
  • Living with a host family or independently within their host community
  • Immersion into the local culture
  • Travel to Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala and other locations
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