Seventy miles south of the Utah-Arizona border sits a town called Chinle. Located within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation, Chinle is the gateway to Canyon de Chelly. Like many throughout the Southwest, this canyon boasts towering sandstone walls and otherworldly rock formations. However, it also holds indigenous ruins, a difficult history, and is cooperatively owned and managed by the Navajo Tribal Trust. Forty Navajo families reside in Canyon de Chelly and hundreds more in the surrounding area. Without access to grid power, many families on the Navajo Nation rely on gas lamps, candles, or even car batteries to charge electronics and light up their home. For some, daily activities simply end as soon as the sun goes down.
Over the past few years, Goal Zero has joined forces with a number of partners to bring solar, power, and light to different parts of the Navajo Nation. This fall, a crew of 20 employees and ambassadors traveled to Chinle with the goal of completing 40 solar kit installs over the course of two days. In partnership with Yahuaca Knowledge Distribution, we equipped both traditional hogans and modern houses with a solar panel, power station, and LED lights. Some families were receiving power for the first time, others simply wanted to make the move towards cleaner, renewable energy. Watch the video below for a recap of this year's Navajo Nation solar project and to hear stories from the people who were impacted.