Intern Profile #1: Chase Nelson (AIDG Guatemala)

Chase Nelson

Chase Nelson

Where Are you Based?
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

What is your intern project?
My main focus is upgrading AIDG’s/Xelateco existing plug flow biodigester design to floating dome biodigesters. There are other projects that I help out with, such as solar hot water heating.

Describe what your normal day as an AIDG intern in like.
The thing is there is no normal day of work at AIDG. There are never two days in a row that provide me with something that could be considered a routine (something that would make this question possible to answer).

Many of my days are spent out of the office working on the construction of a technology, or scouting out sites to have future implementations, or meeting with folks that are interested in our technologies. My time in the office is spent planning for trips to these communities, manipulating existing designs to reflect changes that we see as necessary, and discussing design and business ideas with other interns.

What are the main challenges you face?

  • To produce a functioning digester that will prove beneficial to the communities they have been installed in.
  • To provide Xelateco with the skills they need to reproduce the biodigester, and an installation manual that can be used by them and other organizations that are interested in this technology.
  • To leave AIDG and Xelateco more successful as organizations, than when I

What has been the most rewarding moment for you?
The most rewarding moment for me was seeing Don Lorenzo in La Florida add manure to the freshly completed biodigester for the first time.

Who have you met who has inspired you the most and why?
Dona Rosaura in La Florida has proven to be inspirational to me time and time again. Her generosity and caring manner is nothing short of motherly, yet her voice is strong, standing out in a predominately male dominated society. This voice and kindheartedness has greatly helped the cooperatively-owned coffee plantation move forward. If problems arise with the digester in La Florida, I know that Rosaura would be 100% understanding and not even slightly frustrated, but her manner inspires
people like me to not let her community down.

Why did you choose AIDG? What inspired you about the organization?
First off, the technologies that AIDG is developing have great potential to make necessary changes in the way the world develops. It is extremely worthwhile, from a personal standpoint and an environmetnal standpoint to be involved in the development of these technologies. Furthermore, AIDG is still a new organization that needs a lot of energy and patience from its supporters and interns to progress. But, since it is young, an intern or supporter can have a great influence in the way it progresses. This inspired me to get involved with the organization as much as possible.