Solar for School in Mexico





History Logs

Project Description

Region: North America

Country: Mexico

Location: San Vicente

Total Budget: $68,800

Area of Focus: Basic education and literacy

Credit Card Fundraising

Fundraising Goal:


Already Donated:


Still Needed:


The project partners were seeking individual donations to bridge a funding gap. All the funds were raised. Many thanks to the donors. Please check the donation details on the "Financing" tab.

The Project:

The objective of this project is to install a 55,440 Watt, 168 panel, photovoltaic power (PV) generating system at Rancho Santa Marta Orphanage and School (The Ranch). The panels will be mounted to carports and existing roof structures. The goal is to allow the Ranch to avoid high electricity expenses and generate a savings that will allow the reallocation of financial resources to the orphanage and school operations. The new PV system will produce 70% of the total energy needs which will save the Ranch $174,706 pesos ($10,000 dollars) annually. Every peso saved by avoided electricity expense is a peso that can be used to help the children receive a better education at the Ranch.

The Orphanage and School:

The Ranch is a non-profit organization (NGO) that provides a home for 50 abandoned youth and a school for 250 kindergarten through 12th graders approximately 60 miles south of Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico. The school at the Ranch provides much needed educational services and offers hope for both students and parents. It's one of the only schools in Baja that has a focus on children with learning challenges. The Ranch believes every child should have the opportunity to be in school and be provided with all the tools necessary for learning. Whether it's a new math strategy, sign language or in-depth counseling, it is the school's vision to help children flourish according to their abilities. Many of the students come from public schools where they are mistreated and put down. The Ranch offers them a safe haven where they are able to have the freedom to learn, opening opportunities that will change lives. More information about Rancho Santa Marta is available at http://www.ranchosantamarta.org

The Need:

The need for this project was identified through interviews with the Rancho Santa Marta management staff and an analysis of the Ranch's highest fixed costs which includes electricity expenses. The analysis showed an annual expenditure of roughly $275,057 pesos (approximately USD 14,000.00) or $22,921.00 pesos per month (USD 1,200.00). Supporting a school in Mexico that has 250 Kindergarten through 12th grade students, not to mention providing food/shelter for 50 abandoned children, requires considerable financial resources. By reducing the fixed electrical costs with the renewable PV energy generating system, the Ranch can free up financial resources for core activities such as enhancing the quality of educational services for the children. The project will provide a significant saving producing 70% of the total energy needs which will save the Ranch $174,706 pesos ($10,000 dollars) annually.


A portion of the financial savings will be allocated to fund the maintenance of the PV system, which will be done by the Ranch staff who will be trained accordingly. This will ensure a sustainable project by providing detailed training to on-site staff who will then be able to perform regular system maintenance.

Community Involvement:

The community was involved through discussions between Ensenada Rotary Club, the Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club and the Rancho Santa Marta staff who identified the opportunity to save financial resources by eliminating a significant portion of the electricity costs. The system will be purchased from, designed and installed by local (Baja California, Mexico) engineers/contractors. Local contractors will also be hired to build the structures that will support photovoltaic panels and provide general construction support during the project deployment. Once funds to purchase and build the system have been secured, the deployment of the PV system will take approximately 12 weeks from procurement of materials to commissioning.

Primary Host Partner

District: 4100

Rotary Club of: Ensenada

Primary Contact: Octavio Sanchez de Lara

Email: octavioosprecision@gmail.com

Primary International Partner

District: 5340

Rotary Club of: Santee-Lakeside

Primary Contact: Allen Carlisle

Email: allenbec@cox.net

Project Status

Your project is "Fully Pledged". This means the amount of the pledges is equal to the total budget of the project. Now the project needs to be finalized and go through the approval process with The Rotary Foundation. This process gets started on the administration page.

Project listed for the 2019-20 Rotary Year.

The TRF Grant application number is #1984625.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Ensenada (4100)





Santee-Lakeside (5340)





Matching Grants Website DAF Donations





Elana Levens-Craig








Amount Requested from The Rotary Foundation






Note: as of July 1, 2015 there is a 5% additional support fee for cash contributions. This fee does not appear in the financials above because it does not apply if the funds are sent directly to the project account (without going through TRF, and therefore without Paul Harris credit). Clubs sending their cash contribution to TRF must be aware they will have to send an additional 5%.

Project Supporting Documents

Estimate & Plan


Project Photos

History Log Entries


by Allen Carlisle

System Entry: Creation of project page.


by Philippe Lamoise

System Entry: Project reverted to "Published".


by Janice Kurth

System Entry: Project is now "Fully Pledged".


by Allen Carlisle

System Entry: Application Sent to The Rotary Foundation through Member Access.


by Allen Carlisle

System Entry: Project reverted to "Published".


System Entry

System Entry: Pledge of $360 by Elana Levens-Craig through the Matching Grants Website DAF.


by Allen Carlisle

System Entry: Project is now "Fully Pledged".


by Allen Carlisle

This Global Grant has been cancelled. Please remove from the list.

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