Photo Credit: Rodrigo González
The Paso del Istmo Biological Corridor in Nicaragua serves as an important pathway for wildlife and its beaches provide nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles. Rural villagers in this economically depressed region poach sea turtle eggs in order to earn income. Paso Pacifico provides education programs, and employs villagers as rangers to prevent poaching and increase incomes through conservation work. The Portable Light team worked closely with Paso Pacifico to develop a solar textile lantern that can stand alone or be attached onto locally made ranger bags. During the daytime, the flexible solar materials harvest energy. At night, the LED light can switch from white to red so rangers can walk the beaches without disturbing the sea turtles. Each bag has the ability to charge a cell phone, which allow rangers to communicate with each other and document nests. The detachable lantern enables women to study at home, train as rangers and build businesses in eco-tourism. The Paso Pacifico bags preserve the biodiversity of the regional ecosystem while providing education and income for women.