Volunteer Aid – Robert Liberatore & Shelby Hicks

“Being a part of the install is still one of our favorite parts of the trip. It allowed us to really interact with the community that will benefit from the turbine and show us how special WindAid’s work is in Peru and what our partnership with them will mean.”

William Saputra: Sociology & Quantitative Methods , University of Edinburgh, Indonesia

“Coming from a sociology background, I often found myself lost in the perplexing field of engineering during my initial days volunteering in WindAid. When I started as a volunteer in the organization, I was worried that I would fall short in contributing to my team’s effort. Lucky for me, the WindAid Institute was anything short of incredible staff members that were not only happy to share their extensive knowledge, but also capable of awakening a sense of curiosity for sustainable engineering in me. What more could you ask for than passion so infectious that you yourself becoming driven in learning more about their field?

With such a dedicated group of people, both staff members and my own group members, I quickly felt comfortable enough to continuously ask questions on a field completely unknown to me. By the end of my project, I had enough confidence to call myself an (makeshift) engineer. However, WindAid was not only an institution that builds on one’s engineering skills but also profoundly affects the local communities of Peru. With the completion of
my group’s project, the community of Nuevo Manzanilla had received a brand new wind turbine that brightened their school and community hall. Furthermore, WindAid did not only provide the local community with a one-off plan for sustainable development but rather provided them with a long-term solution to aiding the village through educating them about the wind turbine itself. Growing popular amongst the communities, WindAid quickly became a gateway for many of the local members to gain opportunities to come to the city and further educate themselves with goals to better their own lives back in their respective villages. In essence, the WindAid Institute leaves a trail of inspiration behind wherever they choose to do a project. I, amongst the many participants, am inspired and thankful I had the chance to work with WindAid.”

Mike Davis : England – Mechanical Engineering at University of Exeter

“I loved every minute of my time in Peru, whether in the workshop, at the installation in Playa Blanca or travelling around at the weekends! I honestly never imagined I’d have the opportunity to Sand board in Trujillo and go on the most beautiful hike of my life up to 4600m above sea level in Huaraz! To be able to build and install not one but two wind turbines and give them to a community that will benefit from them the most was something I’d never have dreamed I’d be able to do before I found out about WindAid, I’m so glad I did find you guys. Every part of the trip offered new exciting skills and experiences that I will remember and take away for life. Having been involved in the project group has reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in renewable energy and I plan on getting involved with other international development opportunities in future. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat! I’m not sure I can ever quite put into words what this whole amazing experience meant to me but I gave it my best shot! I wish you guys all the success you and WindAid deserve and I’ll be sure to keep up with your future progress.”

Curt Swanton : USA – New York, Mechanical Engineering Technologies Alfred State College

“Had I not volunteered at WindAid, I would have never known just how many people you can fit in a single taxi; or just how many incredible people, from all over the world, you can meet in one place. By volunteering with WindAid, you will learn about the practical skills and processes involved in building a wind turbine. But that’s not all, you’ll also see firsthand what it takes, and has taken, to build an amazing community of people dedicated to such a great cause. Oh, and yes, you will have so much fun. Whether you’re doing repairs in the mountains, installations on the beach, or watching as about twenty or so local college kids put your whole group to shame at digging foundations, every day will be a new adventure. Trust me, when it’s over you’ll never want to leave.”

Amy Crum : Scotland – Masters in Sustainable Engineering: Offshore Renewable Energy at Strathclyde University

“… After graduating I wanted to travel, but I needed work experience. I decided to visit Peru, see Machu Picchu, ‘find myself’ and on the way I’d drop by and do some volunteering. But WindAid turned out to be so much more than that!

The highlight of Peru was not trekking the Andes, nor surfing, nor visiting Inca ruins. It was finding myself a family- a group of people to laugh with and cherish every moment. It was stammering some newly learned Spanglish to attentive Peruvian children. It was witnessing first-hand the effects of climate change and coastal erosion. It was my first time engineering hands-on with a real, physical product.

Most of all, it was seeing the community of Playa Blanca being able to eat dinner, not in the dark or by candle light, but with lights powered and installed by WindAid. It was seeing that even me – a lucky graduate with no experience – can have a role in ‘lighting up’ these families’ lives.

I can’t thank WindAid enough for how it has changed me: my priorities, my confidence and my future. I absolutely recommend it to anyone and I absolutely will be returning… if they let me!…”

Studied Biomedical Engineering at University of Glasgow