The Possibilities are Endless
Yet again, we have a stellar blog post to share from incredible guest contributor Shari Ranney of the Rotary Club of Petaluma CA. Enjoy!
Today we ventured across Lake Atitlan in a launch to the village of Santa Cruz to learn all about Mayan Power and Light. This program is a collaboration between Approprite Technology Solutions (ATS), Soluciones Energéticas Apropiadas (SEA) and another Guatemalan nonprofit. John Barrie introduced us to the dynamic team of ATS, lead by Monika Goforth. After touring the CECAP Vocational Training Center, where a solar installation was completed, we learned all about the work behind such a project. The primary goals of ATS are to empower rural Guatemalan women by teaching them business incubation, electric circuitry and carpentry skills. They are taught to sell and install solar panel systems on individual houses to provide LED lighting, and also very importantly, cell phone chargers in the home. This would occur in areas that have no electricity and rely on candlelight after the sun sets. Imagine this life-changing advancement!
The organizational goals also include providing affordable solar, h2o filters and eco-stoves to grow Guatemala's green economy. Joe Wakely came with the group and confessed that his head was spinning as he imagined ways that these technologies could be used in some of the AdP water and sanitation projects. I see future collaboration! Then the real fun began: we each assembled a solar panel and the light went on!
Tomorrow we say goodbye to our hosts to venture on to Antigua before heading home to the states. What a ride it has been!! A huge thanks to Bruce Clements, Joe Wakely and Todd Thompson for sharing their wit, knowledge and expertise with us cuatro amigas from Petaluma. This has been an amazing, informative and fun week!! We are looking forward to sharing what we have learned here in Guatemala with Rotarians back home.