Bringing Clean Energy to Central America
We are a for-profit subsidiary of international NGO Trees, Water & People that offers a solution to energy poverty by distributing small (>30W) solar lighting technologies that affordably meet lighting and device charging needs for energy poor populations. Luciérnaga imports solar lights and cell phone chargers in bulk and sells them to our trusted network of local NGOs, small business owners, and cooperatives on the ground. These organizations have robust distribution channels and financing options to truly travel the “last mile” and get these products to rural communities.
Reducing Energy Poverty
"Energy Poverty" is the lack of access to modern energy services for the basic needs of cooking, warmth, and lighting. Around the world, 1.7 billion people lack access to electricity and millions more have only expensive and unreliable energy access. In Central America alone, 7.4 million people are without electricity. Families rely on kerosene, candles, and ocote (a pine used like a candle) for light. These energy sources are expensive and have a negative impact on both human health and the natural environment. We find this reality unacceptable. Together, with manufacturers and local distributors, we are making clean energy affordable and accessible to rural communities throughout Central America.
Polluting Energy Sources:Kerosene - Smoke from kerosene lamps is toxic when inhaled, causing respiratory infections which can be deadly. The smoke is also an irritant to eyes and skin, causes cataracts, and releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Candles - Paraffin wax candles are inefficient sources of energy that force people to strain their eyes due to a lack of light. They also release carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
Ocote - This type of wood (pitchy pine) burns as though it has been dipped in gasoline and releases an oily soot that is extremely damaging to the respiratory system.
D Batteries - Low quality, expensive, and ubiquitous, D batteries are used in disposable flashlights and radios throughout Central America, and typically discarded into streams, agricultural fields or the local environment after two weeks of use.