Casa Pueblo
Casa Pueblo (Photo: Courtesy of Arturo Massol Deya)

Since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017, Puerto Rico has struggled to restore power. But in one building in the mountain town of Adjuntas, the lights never went out.

Massol: “Casa Pueblo had been running with solar power for almost 20 years.”

Arturo Massol Deya is president of Casa Pueblo, an environmental nonprofit and community center.

After Maria, Casa Pueblo became an energy oasis, where people could charge phones and power medical devices.

The group also distributed nearly 10,000 solar lamps to local residents, and installed emergency solar systems to power home health care equipment.

Massol says Casa Pueblo wanted to help people in need after the storm, and the group is urging Puerto Rico to rebuild its electrical grid using solar.

Massol: “A study conducted at the University of Puerto Rico established that 65 percent of all the roof areas in Puerto Rico was enough to produce 100 percent of the energy demand of Puerto Rico.”

Massol says even a fraction of that could lower the island’s dependence on fossil fuels and help communities recover faster from natural disasters.

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Eileen Mignoni is a South Florida-based visual journalist who has been working on stories about science, the environment, and energy for nearly 10 years. In addition to her work at Yale Climate Connections,...