International Service Trip - Follow Along!

Pace Center International Service Trip

The Pace Center for Civic Engagement is pleased to be piloting its first International Service Trip (IST) in collaboration with the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and the Keller Center. This trip extends the Pace Center’s Breakout Princeton alternative fall and spring break program internationally. The trip is an opportunity to connect local and global issues, to learn about the needs of a community and work with that community to help meet those needs. IST emerged following student interest and demand for a community-oriented international experience and builds on the University’s leadership in expanding its international horizons. 

Over the summer of 2013, the Pace Center worked with students to develop general trip guidelines and an application. The Pace Center collaborated with Princeton Engineers Without Borders, the Princeton University Bridge Year Program and the Office of Finance and Treasury’s risk management department to develop a pilot strategy. In the fall of 2013 the Pace Center announced the opportunity broadly and solicited Trip Proposals and Trip Participant Applications. 

The aspects the Pace Center thinks are important for an International Service Trip are that it meets a community need, is safe for participants and is sustainable in the long term. It’s important that the trip be a learning experience and impact both the students and community in a positive way. After careful consideration, the Pace Center chose "Solar Sustainable Service" led by Douglas Bastidas '16 and Dallas Nan '16 as the pilot trip.

Douglas, Dallas and a group of five Princeton undergraduate students will travel to Urubamba, Peru over Spring Break, March 15-22. Hosted by a local family in Urubamba, the IST team will work in conjunction with Intrax Global Internships to explore issues of power supply and energy demand, infrastructure, and sustainable solar technology in and around rural villages near Urubamba, Peru. The three priorities of the Solar Sustainable Service trip are to:

•Engage with off grid communities and learn about sustainability as a customizable power and energy option

•Understand and support local community action

•Share the Princeton spirit with fellow Princeton students already at work in the region 

Through conversations with local village leaders and community members, the IST team will learn about electricity and power infrastructure in rural Peru, explore its impact in the community, learn about off-grid communities, and engage in understanding sustainable energy alternatives as customizable solutions.

Douglas, Dallas and the IST team are also bringing two solar suitcases developed by We Share Solar, an international nonprofit, with them to assemble and install with the community where the community determines solar energy is needed. After the solar suitcases are installed, the IST team will collaborate with Princeton Bridge Year participants on Intrax community development projects already underway in Urubamba. Once back on campus, the IST team will continue to learn and share through a series of events and an after-trip report.  

Meet the trip team and follow along as the students prep for and go on the International Service Trip via the Pace Center student blog: pace-center.tumblr.com or stay tuned to facebook.com/pacecenter and twitter.com/pace_princeton for updates.