Bringing Electricity to Guatemala Village

Bringing Electricity to Guatemala for the third time
Lineworkers are bringing electricity to Guatemala for the third time.

Colorado and Oklahoma lineworkers are on the ground, stringing power lines and bringing electricity to Guatemala once again. This time, they are in La Montanita de la Virgen to electrify the homes, church and school in that small community and to bring clean water and student supplies.

The electric co-op team was originally scheduled to leave for Guatemala at the end of July, but supply chain issues meant the trip was postponed about a month. The team didn’t leave the United States for the village northeast of Guatemala City until August 29. They will return September 16.

Colorado’s team members include Zeb Birch, Grand Valley Power; Nathaniel Pennell, Mountain View Electric; Clayton Shonk, White River Electric; and Trenton Jole, Holy Cross Energy.

This is the first international trip in two years for NRECA International, the philanthropic arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Bringing electricity to Guatemala for the third time (once in 2018 and again in 2019, with 2020 and 2021 efforts canceled due to COVID-19), the team will extend electric distribution service along a 7-mile stretch of mountainous terrain to 76 adobe homes, an elementary school, a small church and a health care center. The villagers dug the holes and erected the necessary power poles before the volunteers arrived. They are anxious to receive electricity.

Soon they will no longer have to haul water from a spring outside the village nor grind their corn for tortillas by hand every day.