Un Litro de Luz: Rays of hope in Colombia’s poorest homes

By bogotapost June 17, 2015
One litre of light Project, Un Litro de Luz

Camilo José Herrera Photo: Claudia Turbay Quintero

One enterprising Colombian is helping to brighten up the lives of some of the poorest communities in the country.

In 2011, 29-year old Camilo Jose Herrera, heard about a project called ‘Un Litro de Luz’ (One litre of light), led by a man named Illac Diaz, which was helping to illuminate the houses of impoverished people in Africa.

Herrera knew the Un Litro de Luz project would be perfect for his country too, so he got in contact with Diaz. He then developed the technology further to create solar powered street lighting, which has been utilised in 14 Colombian cities.

Related: NGO Focus

He has just returned from Ghana where they will roll out the system.

The lighting method is simple yet ingenious. Old plastic bottles are installed in the roof of a house, half inside, half protruding outside. A cylindrical object that is fixed in the bottle refracts the sunlight from outside, lighting up everything inside.

Herrera was named of ten 2015 ‘Innovators under 35’ by a publication at the Technology Review by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

By Natalia Hammond