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Andes Solar

While Juana prepares the quinoa and vegetable soup for dinner listenning to a small radio bringing local news, in Quechua language, Wilfredo(who does not speak Spanish well enough to understand what his father Celso is saying), enjoys the radio and keeps his mother company. Celso, who lives with his wife and their 13-year-old son in Taquile Island, tells how different days were when they were children. “Wilfredo has an easy life”.

Sitting at the dinning room of her home on Amantani Island, in the Incatiana Quechua community, getting ready to weave and feeling the last rays of sunlight, Mariluz remembers with a smile "In the old days, we would be getting ready for sleep." Henry, her husband, soon agreed, organizing documents and pouring another cup of tea of muño and coca leaves. “The heady smell of burning kerosene would soon take over. It bothered eyes and nose, but we had to get our face close to the lamp so that it could be seen and the conversation would take place in pitch dark. Today is not like that anymore."

For Rosalia, an Aymara Indian who lives on Santa Maria Island, one of Uros floating islands on Lake Titicaca, the positive changes arising from the arrival of solar energy less than a decade ago, exceeded economic aspects, and also improved family relationships. She and her sister Olga, who lives with her family on the neighbor island (also called Santa Maria), used to argue and fight a lot, and now they are very close friends. They love to reunite their families in a small room where they watch television all together.

Living on Lake Titicaca, Peru, at almost 4 thousand meters altitude, surrounded by the Cordillera de Los Andes, the arrival of solar energy was the first successful attempt to bring energy to the isolated Quechua and Aymara people, descendants of the Incas. This initiative has transformed the lives of many families, opened new paths and opportunities, and contrary to what one can think, it has strengthened their culture and traditions.

Andes Solar shows excerpts from the lives of indigenous people in Cordillera de Los Andes after the arrival of solar energy. 

In the last decades hundreds of millions of people have gained access to modern energy. Yet it is estimated that about 14% of the global population, 1.1 billion people, has no access to any energy source. Of this number, the vast majority are people living in remote and isolated areas, such as indigenous communities in South America.

With energy production accounting for more than 35% of greenhouse gases and a constant and growing demand for energy, use sources with a less carbon intensive system, and less environmental and social harm is necessary to properly meet the challenges of a changing climate. For this, one of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN for 2030 is affordable and sustainable energy for everyone.

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