In 2018, as part of a school trip, 14-year-old Adie Selassie visited the Texas-Mexico border on a school mission to learn about Texan colonias — a group of housing settlements along the US-Mexico border. Adie learned that the colonias are some of the most impoverished parts of the US whose residents have very limited opportunities to improve their condition and exit their circumstances. Confounded by the extent of the poverty, she researched and surfaced the colonia residents’ most urgent predicament: a lack of access to electricity. Inspired by this experience, Adie founded Live in the Lights in an attempt to help them access electricity. Live In The Lights is based in Arlington, VA and started its work by supporting colonias in Texas.
Adie, along with classmates, working to build a mobile library for children in the colonias.
Like many underserved communities across the globe, the colonias lack access to solar energy. Solar energy is highly desirable for the colonias as it is energy-efficient and cost-effective.
The primary mission of Live In The Lights is to install solar power for homes in the colonias through partnerships with solar companies. In the interim, we are donating portable solar power and generators.
Basic daily living functions — cooking, studying, and working — are impossible without electricity and lighting. Many families struggle to keep up with utility costs. COVID-19 has especially affected families in the colonias, as many have lost employment.
Live In The Lights has set up an emergency fund to pay for families' electricity costs to keep them living in the light.
Live In The Lights strives to "light up the lives" of residents of the colonias.
We address the challenges of this community by providing them with solar energy sources, and through the creation of a small-business ecosystem designed to sustain intra-colonia commercial activity. We call this two-fold plan our Double Sustainability Mandate.
By improving the daily conditions in which residents live, we aim to bring them hope and brighten their future.
Proyecto Azteca (https://www.proyectoazteca.org) is an organization based in McAllen, TX whose mission is to build sturdy homes in the colonias and teach its residents how to be self-sufficient. Our partnership with Proyecto Azteca helps with:
We provide homes in the colonias solar-powered energy solutions with products like Sun King's Home 120. This unit includes solar panels, batteries, light fixtures/bulbs, and appliance charging outlets.
Live In The Lights also organizes clothing, shoe, and blanket drives for families in the colonias. Children and adolescents often lack or outgrow shoes and clothing. Items collected through drives are shipped to Proyecto Azteca, our partner organization to distribute the items to families in the colonias.