Turning the light on in Puerto Rico, one solar generator at a time
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
In Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria, some can afford $20 a day for fuel to run their generators. Then there are others in complete darkness.
"I'm not going to forgive myself if I do don't do something," said Javier Camacho.
Camacho was born and raised on the island.
"I was so desperate trying to find a way to help my friends and my family and the people in Puerto Rico, I was actually trying to find out a way to make a battery by myself," Camacho said.
That's when he came across Jehu Garcia, who lives more than 3,000 miles away in California.
"This is the United States. People shouldn't be without power," said Garcia.
Garcia is a YouTuber who is teaching people how to build solar generators.
So, he went to Puerto Rico to do just that.
"Most people think of Puerto Rico as being a disaster zone - as a tragedy. I see it as an opportunity," Garcia said.
"You can imagine what we could do with a little bit of power from the sun,” Camacho said.
Each solar generator contains batteries, an inverter, a solar change controller and different connectors to get the power flowing. A simple extension cord connects the generator to the solar panels.
"We could light up a fridge with lights. You could name it, we could do it," Camacho said.
So far they've turned on the lights for about 30 families across the island.
"Being able to do this for my country, for my island, I feel really blessed," Camacho said.
Their goal is to collect enough donations, and/or recycled material to make their generators, to reach every single person who is still living in the dark.
"I think they will stand up, they will surpass this, and will help themselves and I think we just need a little bit of help," said Garcia.