The Gift of Solar in Puerto Rico...Philanthropy and Climate Change

Thursday, August 27, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Alex Honnold may be best known for his free solo ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, but his biggest impact on the world is being done through his family’s Honnold Foundation. Although life disrupted and truncated his pursuit of a college degree and he lived in a van for many years, he has emerged as a major player in the solar scene in Puerto Rico. With the goal of “promoting solar energy for a more equitable world,” the Honnold Foundation has partnered with Casa Pueblo in the mountain town of Adjuntas to create the first cooperatively managed, community-owned solar microgrid on the island. Rivian is providing second life batteries from its sustainable vehicle fleet, and REC Group has sent solar panels. This presentation and conversation will show how courageous individuals are overcoming obstacles to provide clean energy and resiliency to a community battered by hurricanes, earthquakes, and the coronavirus.

ND Energy’s partnership with Casa Pueblo began in 2018 when Arturo Massol Deyá spoke during Energy Week. Since then, students from the Energy Studies Minor have traveled to Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico: Road Map to a Renewable Future capstone course, and ND Energy has developed energy education for the local primary school and connected the non-profit Let’s Share the Sun with Casa Pueblo.

This discussion will be moderated by Álvaro Carrillo Marcano (’22), an accounting and political science major and president of the Puerto Rican Student Association of the University of Notre Dame (PRSAND). Carrillo Marcano invites students to join PRSAND, which is a new student group on campus.


Dory Trimble is the executive director of the Honnold Foundation. She has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly ten years. Her past experiences include time in the Peace Corps as National Program Coordinator in the Dominican Republic and with migrant farmworkers in rural Appalachia. Currently based in Salt Lake City, she has been with the Honnold Foundation for the past three years. Her motto is, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

Arturo Massol Deyá is the executive director of Casa Pueblo, an award-winning environmental non-profit organization in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. Founded by his parents, Casa Pueblo has a forty-year history of serving as “grassroots environmental heroes,” the justification for receiving the Islands and Island Nations Goldman Environmental Prize in 2002. Massol Deyá is also a professor of microbiology and ecology at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.

Students attending this event will earn a chance to win $20 in Domer Dollars at the end of Energy Week. Details will be announced at the beginning of the program.

Registration for this event must be made no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 27. Registrants will receive updates of any changes as well as a reminder with a Zoom link to join.
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Students ... if you would like to join a 30-minute breakout session with Dory Trimble or Arturo Massol Deyá after the event, please register no later than 5:00 p.m. the day of the event. Registrants will be sent a reminder with a Zoom link to join.

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Co-sponsored by the Puerto Rican Student Association of the University of Notre Dame (PRSAND)

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The Gift of Solar in Puerto Rico Screen Ad
The Gift of Solar in Puerto Rico Classroom Slide (JPG)