Written by Green Empowerment Operations Manager, Martin Olza and Trip Participant, Danielle Keerbs This spring, students and faculty from Washington State University traveled to Ecuador with Green Empowerment to help advance our projects in Imbabura. The trip was a unique opportunity for this environmental studies class to apply lessons learned in the classroom and learn new concepts related to global…

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By David Siegel, Vice Chair of Green Empowerment’s Board of Directors. David is a city planner who has worked with communities domestically and internationally for over 40 years to define and carry out an intentional future. Each year, Green Empowerment conducts a field trip for a small group of board members, staff and supporters to experience the work…

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This post was written by Brittany and Calvin Helfenstine, GE international volunteers in Ecuador.Biodiversity varies with latitude, so it should come as no surprise that Ecuador, straddling both hemispheres, is among the most species-rich regions in the world. Nestled high in the Andes, a winding 5-hour drive from Quito, and bordering Colombia, the Ecuadorian province…

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This post was written by GE volunteer Kendra Sterneck.Much of rural Colombia suffers from a lack of both economic opportunities and public services, including sanitation and electricity. Over 50% of the rural population cooks and/or lights their homes with dangerous biomass fuels that release toxic emissions harmful to human health and the environment. Green Empowerment…

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Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for human survival and development. Unfortunately, across the globe, approximately 663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water, and 2.4 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to adequate sanitation. Without basic infrastructure to fulfill these needs, communities…

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From December 29th, 2016 to January 9th, 2017, three groups of college students from the University of Idaho traveled to three different developing countries to spend part of their winter break supporting Green Empowerment projects.The trips were part of the University of Idaho’s Alternative Service Break (ASB) program. The ASB program gives students the opportunity…

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By Ecuador Program Manager, Sam SchlesingerIn the immediate aftermath of Ecuador’s deadly earthquake on April 16th, 2016, the majority of humanitarian aid focused on short-term livelihood and housing needs, with government, international, and NGO efforts focused on urban and peri-urban areas with dense populations. In hard-hit Esmeraldas Province, the basic needs of isolated rural communities,…

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Mariela Carriel and her family were beneficiaries of the Growing Esmeraldas with Renewable Energy project (known as Creciendo Esmeraldas con Energía Renovable, or “CRECER”) in Ecuador. The CRECER project was created to improve the lives and livelihoods of rural cacao-farming families in Ecuador’s Esmeraldas Province through the holistic implementation of renewable energy technologies, eco-agricultural training…

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