Aaron Calhoun: Pennsylvania-USA, Northampton Community College

“My time working with WindAid has proven to be one of the best experiences of my life. I was initially drawn by the idea of being able to promote green energy, travel internationally, and help people who needed it the most. WindAid delivers that in spades. In just a few weeks I had fallen in love with the whole process of living, working , and growing with a great group of people. It is very fulfilling and motivating being able to work on a team who are even more devoted to a great cause than you are. In the workshop everyone was working towards the same goal and focused on the project, which helped create a great sense of comradery. Nick, Ross, and Jessica are great leaders and teachers, making sure we stayed on schedule while allowing room for fun in the process. During our free time, we explored the city and got to experience a lot of Peru while building friendships I know many of us will point to as highlights of the experience. By the time the final part of the session came around, we were a close group. When the session was over and we left, I parted ways with everyone knowing not only had we made a real difference in the lives of others, but I had learned more about the world and cultures around me as well.”

Michelle Marie Farhat: Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University

“I came into WindAid thinking that I’d learn a little about wind turbines and a help a community in need while getting to practice my Spanish and travel to Peru. While that’s what´s on paper, I can’t even begin to put into words how far above and beyond that description of this program goes and how this experience has forever changed my life. All of the volunteers and leaders came together right off the back and really became a family, which is why I think we all worked so well together and were able to make such a great impact on the Peruvian communities we got to work with. But what was even greater was getting the chance to not only interact, but actually become part of those communities, if only briefly. Whether we were working together to install the turbine, or taking a break by playing some fútbol, we were all on the same “team”, and that sense of unity is what really made this program unforgettable for me.”

Kate Price: Geography at University College of London

“Words to describe WindAid would be; worthwhile, rewarding and fun. With no previous experience in engineering the volunteer co-ordinators were amazing and patient in teaching me. Never had such a hands on experience in my life, I now feel more rounded and confident in approaching a more scientific field in my masters programme next year.”

Hamish Macdonald: Scotland, University of Strathclyde

“I was part of the 2nd volunteer troop, away back in September 2010. It was a fantastic experience and I really enjoyed my time in Peru. The fact that we built something with our own hands, that provided renewable energy to those that couldn’t get access to grid electricity was incredibly rewarding. From a selfish perspective, the placement helped my define my future in renewable energy. After returning to Scotland I worked for a biomass company and I am now studying for a PhD, specifically involving wind turbines, at the University of Strathclyde. It was also important that I pushed my self out of my comfort zone and explored what life is like in South America. My lack of Spanish before my trip was definitely testament to that! Although I’m sure a lot has changed since I was in Peru, I would still recommend the volunteer placement to anyone, regardless of background. I believe the future success of future projects relies heavily on community involvement. The knowledge and expertise regarding wind turbines is far more valuable than simply providing access to them.”