Solar Project in Fort-Liberte, Haiti


On April 5, a team of dedicated individuals embarked on a transformative mission in Forte Liberte, led by Andy Whipple, an exceptional and generous individual and part owner of Atlasta Solar in Grand Junction, Colorado. Alongside Andy were Colin Geery, a technician from Atlasta Solar, and Colin Weller, an optician from Flagstaff, Arizona, each bringing their unique skills and passion to the project. Joining them were Jean Paradis and Pam Gores from Plainwell, Michigan, further enriching the team with their expertise and enthusiasm. Together, they set out to install a solar pump generously donated by Atlasta Solar, laying the foundation for positive change in the community.

The groundwork had been laid the previous week with the digging of a well, eagerly awaiting the installation of the pump. This water source would serve a dual purpose: irrigating the land for a community garden and providing water for the goats sharing the garden space. The goat-rearing program, where families receive pairs of goats and return two after a year, promotes self-sustaining food production. With goats typically delivering twice a year, the impact is significant.

Andy and Colin G worked tirelessly to install the pump over two days, aided by the enthusiastic assistance of neighboring children, particularly drawn to Andy’s lollipops. Meanwhile, Colin W, along with Pam and Jean, conducted eye screenings, providing much-needed vision care to nearly two hundred individuals in just two and a half days. Despite their efforts, some had to be turned away due to time constraints, highlighting the immense need for eye care services in the area. Colin W’s provision of readers was gratefully received, with one woman even bringing her Bible to test her new glasses. The screenings revealed over 20% of individuals suffering from cataracts, including one remarkable centenarian. Additionally, many experienced eye irritation from dust and sun exposure, with sunglasses in high demand.

After their hard work, the team found solace in the nearby Caribbean Sea, just a short walk away. The warm, welcoming waters provided a refreshing respite, creating moments of joy and camaraderie amidst their efforts. The experience was a testament to the power of collaboration and compassion, filled with laughter, hard work, and cherished memories.

The success of this endeavor was made possible by the generosity of donors who supported the project, demonstrating the collective impact of community-driven initiatives in creating positive change.