Take an international flight from the US to the San Jose del Cabo international airport located about 2.5 hours south of La Paz. Arrive in La Paz after taking the shuttle and check into Hotel Yeneka, a fun and funky hotel well known, as it is filled with recycled art and a fun international crowd. It is located 3 blocks from the Malecon and sits with easy access to virtually anything downtown La Paz has to offer. After a casual review of what to expect in the days ahead and go to the Malecon, a gem frequented by the local community to enjoy the bustling atmosphere with food, drink, music, and people watching.
Awake for a complimentary continental breakfast at Hotel Yeneka. This morning we all gather to learn about solar irradiance and solar testing conditions, solar panel orientation, magnetic declination, and tools we use to assess solar potential in a given area. Taking a break for nourishment we go to the Malecon for lunch and continue with a basic discussion of solar components and their function as it applies to an off-grid solar system. After a day of learning, we take a very short drive to the beautiful Bailandra beach - a pristine location, perfect for wading, frisbee, snorkeling, kayaking, and generally basking in one of the most quintessential examples of Baja's coastal beauty. We return to the Malecon for more local fare and culture.
Breakfast at Hotel Yeneka. We drive 5 hours north to the small and remote town of San Juanico which is the home of the Green Go Solar Project and it's base, "el Rancho Solar.” After a basic town tour and orientation, check into the Hotel 7 Puntos, a centrally located landing zone for surfers, fisherman, kitesurfers, and motocross enthusiasts seeking their perfect day at the infamous "Scorpion Bay". We settle in, relax, head to beach and select one of the local spots to get some dinner.
We evaluate the tide. Surf is typically best in San Juanico at low tide and we try to gear our workshops around this natural cycle, along with the work schedules of whichever local group we are working with at the time. We run the first day of our workshop where we discuss wiring in series vs wiring in parallel and how we use this electrical theory to gear voltage/amperage as for a given solar system. We solder and test strings of cosmetically defective but fully functional solar cells to gear our electrical output. We assemble these strings of solar cells into a fully functional solar panel built from locally acquired, ideally recycled material. We enjoy the time around this workshop by surfing, snorkeling, soccer, frisbee, etc. at the beach. If there is surf, we offer complimentary surf gear and surf lessons for this and all beach days.
We install a basic solar system for a local resident here in need of solar power. We perform a very simple install and discuss the use/limitations of an install of this nature. We light up someone's home for the first time and then we celebrate at the beach.
We install a solar system consisting of reclaimed panels from a U.S. grid-tied community that have been repurposed to off-grid use for another local resident. We discuss the differences/challenges of an installation in this remote location vs. code-compliant installations as they are practiced in the U.S. and Canada. We install the system and it's back to the beach.
We return to La Paz and settle back into the Hotel Yeneka. We settle into the hotel, discuss and prepare for the next day's tour and head back to the Malecon to finish the night.
We depart from the Malecon for a tour of either Whale Shark snorkeling or a tour of the amazing island of Espiritu Santo, an uninhabited island of amazing ecological diversity. We return and prepare for departure from La Paz the next day.
Espiritu Santo Island
Whale Shark snorkeling
Departure from La Paz and heading back to the US, locals will bid you "hasta luego" but you will probably already be planing a return trip to say "hola" once again!