In 2002, SELF worked with the Associação Amazônia, to provide solar power and satellite internet access to the Xixuaú-Xipariná Ecological Reserve. The reserve is the only private nature reserve of its kind in the Brazilian Amazon; its isolation has helped to preserve hundreds of species that risk extinction elsewhere in the Amazon. While its isolation has protected the habitats for numerous rare species, it has also prevented the indigenous Caboclo population who care for the reserve from acquiring electricity, modern healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. The preservation of the nature reserve is critically dependent upon the Caboclo’s ability to lead healthy, prosperous lives in ways that keep the local environment whole and flourishing.  

SELF worked with the reserve to electrify a new health clinic, power classrooms to allow for evening adult education classes, and connect reserve staff to the greater scientific world by being able to share data and research on rare species within the reserve. Over the years, the reserve has drawn increased scientific and eco-tourist interest, which prompted SELF’s return in May 2011 to install new solar powered lighting in five newly built guest houses used by visitors. By using solar energy, the lights are eco-friendly and help to protect the fragile ecosystem within the reserve from harm. - Powering a brighter 21st century.

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Since 1990, SELF has completed projects in more than 25 countries and pioneered unique applications of solar power such as for drip irrigation in Benin, health care in Haiti, telemedicine in the Amazon rain forest, online learning in South Africa and microenterprise development in Nigeria.

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