Mission Statement: Light of Hope – Brazilian Solar and Social Projects, Sobral Ceara – aims to expand and maintain solar energy for the isolated subsistence farming and hunter-gatherer mountain communities of Serra Verde, Serrinha, Pao Branco and Sao Jose.

Programs and Activities

We build relationships based in friendship and solidarity with the villagers in an effort to help them improve their lives in the face of extreme drought and poverty. These efforts include many basic health, social, agricultural, educational and economic projects. We also wish to improve our own lives in the face of extreme apathy and alienation, by learning from the villagers' communal culture and experience so we all might survive in the future.

While living in Northeastern Brazil, I approached the local county government with the idea of solar energy projects for the rural poor of this arid region. They were supportive but needed outside help. After many letters, I found support from the German government and RWE a German/American solar panel manufacturer.

We installed solar photo voltaic panels in two remote – accessible only by foot,5k walk – mountain villages: Serrinha and Serra Verde. Together these two villages have forty families. They now have solar electric energy for their schools, homes, and community centers. Their new water pumps are also solar operated. We acquired freezers, refrigerators, 2-way radios, and sewing machines.

Later the county government provided solar energy for two more remote villages, San Jose and Pao Branco, together they represent twenty families. All four villages are populated by subsistence farmers that suppliment their diet by hunting and gathering.

We also started many health and social projects such as doctor and dentist visits, and water filters to stop parasites, emergency drought relief, adult literacy classes, a food canning project, eco tourism with school groups, honey production, arts and crafts classes and rural association development.

Now we are working to bring the villages LED lights that will save on maintenance and free up enough energy to develop small water systems for each family. We also are working to acquire chickens and goats for each family, showers and toilets for each community, a new school for Serra Verde and new houses for Pao Branco.

All of these efforts represent a long term commitment, based on friendship and solidarity with the villagers, and a belief that the world is a better place because of the example they represent for communal living.

Links to Additional Info

Project Leader Biographies

Contact Info

John Krauss
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