As Nancy and I prepare for this year's upcoming Service Learning Trips to Guatemala, we are mindful to ensure we're carrying on StoveTeam's history of changing lives and accomplishing real work in Latin America while providing volunteers with a fun, enriching experience. After over 10 years of hosting trips to visit our factories we've seen hundreds of volunteers benefit from the experience of helping others while immersed in beautiful landscapes and fascinating foreign cultures.
It's fun to look back on the stories of volunteers who came away from StoveTeam trips feeling inspired and motivated to help people in need or tackle the problems our world faces. In 2016, when StoveTeam led a group of graduate students from Oregon State University to Antigua, Guatemala, a student named Jordan experienced a profound shift in the way he approached his study of energy systems. Here's what Jordan had to say about his experience.
"During my graduate degree in engineering I was able to work with StoveTeam both at a local facility in the US, and on an international trip to Guatemala. In Guatemala we worked with local business owners to help build cookstoves, gather research about their customers, and deliver instrumented cookstoves to better understand people’s cooking habits.
I had worked in developing countries before, but StoveTeam was a different experience because its structure empowers local business owners to help them see change in their communities. Because of my involvement with StoveTeam I changed directions on my graduate program to incorporate more work on sustainability in energy systems and renewable energy. Energy poverty is something I am very passionate about and StoveTeam international helped me to better understand ways I could get involved through volunteering and my career."
Jordan is currently working on postdoctoral research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with an emphasis on grid integration for variable renewable resources. After his experience volunteering with StoveTeam, he shifted his studies from nuclear energy toward renewable energy with a focus on sustainability.
We welcome any and all to join us on any of several trips we lead to Latin America each year. Space is still available in our upcoming January and March trips! Click here for more information!Forest Resener