There are about 16,000 homes on the Navajo Nation that lack electricity. Many of these homes use kerosene lanterns, gas lanterns, candles and gas generators for lighting, all of which are fire hazards and contribute to indoor air pollution. YKD’s mission is to light up homes across the Navajo Nation, using solar technology!
This year we installed over FIFTY solar light kits in the Western and Central Agencies of the Navajo Nation. In May, we partnered with solar tech company, Goal Zero, and local tour guide, Leroy Teesyatoh, in Monument Valley, UT to install solar light kits in off-grid homes.
In October, we partnered again with Goal Zero, as well as, the Chinle Unified School District. We set out to install 40 solar kits in 40 homes, but we ended up installing 42 systems in 2 days in Chinle, Manyfarms, Del Muerto, Tsaile, Wheatfields & Lukachukai!
Being new to the Central Agency, the only connection we’ve had w/ the Chinle community was w/ their cross-county team, the Wildcats. They’ve been the main competitors for our hometown team, the Tuba City Warriors, for as long as we can remember. The Wildcats were always known for their endurance & discipline. They trained on hills like we did, and they ran together in packs. We knew who their top runners were & they knew ours. This past week, while organizing & executing our Fall solar install trip, we realized that the people of this region are just as tough, ingenious & disciplined as their cross-country runners. We met business owners & bull fighters! We talked with grandmas & grandpas who built their homes w/ their own hands. We experienced negative stereotypes melt away before our eyes as the true nature of the Diné showed itself to the visitors of this place. We had conversations w/ storytellers & cultural arts masters. We joked around & laughed together over some of the situations we encountered. And, in the end we realized that we’re not so different from one another. We climb different mountains & scale different cliffs, but we go in courageous & come out alive. So, thank you for welcoming us into your homes. And, thank you for choosing renewable energy! Ahxe’hee!