Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

International Trades Practicum - Oaxaca Mexico

The Details

International Trades Practicum - Oaxaca Mexico

$500,000 endowment generating $20,000 per year.
$20,000 per year for five years.


$20,000 annually would allow ten trades student in the electrical and instrumentation program at TRU to receive international field experience in Oaxaca, Mexico. For two weeks at the beginning of December, the students install solar panels for about nine homes that would otherwise not be able to afford electricity. This support would cover a portion of the travel, accommodation and food for the ten students and two instructors, as well as supporting the local Mexico economy by fully covering the costs of materials (approximately $1,000 per installation), a van and driver, a truck and driver, and a local social worker who assists the team in picking the homes that will get solar panel installations.


Permanently change TRU trades student’s lives, as well as the lives of families in a poor region of Mexico. Over the course of their visit, these electrical students have the opportunity to see into a world that is not readily accessible to the average tourist. Working in peoples’ homes alongside the families creates a rare and special view of another world. The students get the chance to use their recently acquired skills to improve someone’s life and experience the richness of helping others while immersing themselves in Mexico’s vibrant culture. The families receiving solar panels are in need of lights so that children can do their schoolwork later, and so the parents can work longer into the night.

On a practical note, through participation in practical solar power installations, students gain international field and volunteer experience, and learn how to adapt to diverse working conditions. The students provide each home with one solar panel, and a 12 volt DC system including five to six lights and light switches. Your support can help TRU students grow as people and change the world for the better.

“We see how other cultures that are economically poor can be much richer that in ways that really matter.” Dana McIntyre, Electrical Instructor

Student Testimonials:

“I really enjoyed working as a team and completing tasks that meant something. The families were so grateful to have light, and that made us feel good.”

“I feel like my favourite part of Mexico was the people’s positive outlook on everything despite the ever present hardship and poverty. This has forever changed the way I perceive the world and the direction I have in it.”

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