Javier Camacho

After Hurricane Maria, Javier Camacho wanted to help his fellow Puerto Ricans, who were struggling in homes with no electricity.

Camacho: “I kept seeing people suffering and as a Christian, I was – God, I need to help my people. I need to find a way to help.”

As a self-taught software developer, Camacho loves to tinker with technology. So with the aid of tutorials on YouTube, he figured out how to give discarded laptop batteries a new life. By connecting old battery cells together, he was able to build battery packs that can store energy from solar panels.

Camacho: “My desperation pushed me through so much information on the internet, that in less than a month, I was already starting to make batteries for my home using recycled materials.”

Since then, Camacho has made solar generators with backup battery storage for dozens of island residents. Most of the materials, including the panels, are donated.

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He’s also launched a series of YouTube videos to teach others how to make them. His goal is to help people be more prepared when disasters strike.

Camacho: “When you teach them, you are actually giving them power. Now they can say, I don’t have to wait for someone to help me. I can do it.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image credit: Javier Camacho video.

Sarah Kennedy

Sarah Kennedy is an editor and content producer with ChavoBart Digital Media (CBDM), a production firm with a focus on scientific and environmental media. Her work on Climate Connections includes developing...