Madison Wood : Scotland – Mechanical Engineering at University of Strathclyde

“My name is Maddie and I participated in the WindAid short-term volunteer project in June/July 2017. My experience at WindAid was amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. WindAid allows you to see engineering in action, something I am very interested in, and gives you invaluable hands on experience.

Working in the workshop shows you the process of how a turbine is made and the interesting, sometimes very inventive, methods WindAid uses. I learnt so many important skills which I could potentially use in future life such as working with hand-tools, making electrical circuits and how to make an object strong yet light (essential when creating wind turbine blades) I also learnt potentially less useful skills for my career such as welding but it’s such a cool thing to know how to do! The men who work in the workshop are incredibly helpful and nice, every day in the workshop is so much fun.

The purpose of WindAid is to build and install a wind turbine in order to benefit a small community. My installation was in Vilcas, a rural village in the mountains of Peru. We built a large turbine of 2.5kW and were able to electrify two classrooms in the local school. I will never forget how excited and thankful both the children and the adults of the village were. They did all that they could to help us and were extremely kind. To us, electricity is so common but to them it was a huge change in their lives. It was very fulfilling to see something I helped built have such a positive effect on people.

Additionally, WindAid gives lots of opportunity for travel, with flexible Fridays available so that you can make the most of your weekend and see Peru. I traveled a lot around the country including Huaraz, Chicama and Cajamarca – all of these places were incredibly beautiful and interesting. After WindAid, I did a bit of traveling around Peru including climbing Machu Picchu which is definitely worth doing if you have the time! The volunteer co-coordinators at WindAid are so helpful and can give full details about where is best to visit. Peruvian people are also so nice and friendly, which makes this whole experience even better. Overall, WindAid is a great organisation and provided me the opportunity to better my lives and the lives of others. I would recommend taking part in a volunteer program at WindAid for an experience you won’t forget. ”

Olivia Hudson : Australia – Civil Engineering at RMIT University 

“The program greatly exceeded my expectations, as I learned so much not only to do with engineering but personally as well. I’ve been inspired to now be vegetarian and also grown in confidence from this program.

My amazing experience has to be attributed to all the employees and volunteers at WindAid from mama Rosa, who always made sure we had a delicious meal to come home to at the end of the day, to Senor Abel making sure we always got to and from work as well as to all the guys in the workshop sharing all their knowledge and experience with the upmost patience and open mindness to new things.

I greatly respect their attitude and dreams for innovation in the future. ”

Jessica Fischer: SUNY Canton Mechanical Engineering Technology, USA – NY

“My obsession and passion for wind turbines has grown exponentially since attending the WindAid Institute! It was refreshing to be in an atmosphere with international volunteers who shared some of the same passions as me. From manufacturing in the shop to installation in Playa Blanca, every step introduced me to new engineering concepts and made me love renewable energy even more. I really enjoyed the diverse tasks given to all of us to make our turbine spin. Not only was I able to immerse myself into wind turbine manufacturing, but the Peruvian culture I explored with my new worldwide, lifelong friends I made along the way really made this program so amazing.

Being able to learn more about renewable energy and sustainability by providing electricity to a community who lacks access to it was the most rewarding part of this entire program. It wasn’t until we turned on the lights that we could feel the sheer gratitude from the community members. This full-circle construction experience really opened my eyes to a whole new world of sustainability. If you’re even remotely considering attending, I would absolutely recommend it! The WindAid team is very encouraging and extremely knowledgeable.”

Renata Hegyi: Energy Systems Engineering, Dartmouth College – Hungary

“I’ve had an incredible month with WindAid. I could not have imagined a better way to learn about wind turbines, manufacturing, construction, Peru and energy engineering. The WindAid team is passionate, dedicated, smart, caring, and so fun. Working with volunteers from all over the world made the experience even more special. I learned first hand what goes into building a wind turbine from scratch and watched how it impacted the lives of a Peruvian community for the better. I also received a great introduction to Peruvian culture, practiced my Spanish a lot, and traveled a bit on the weekends with the other volunteers. I left Peru with a stronger sense of direction, inspiration, and life long memories. Regresaré pronto! Gracias por todo, 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.”