Rural Guatemalan Village Receives First Electricity to Light Homes and Lives

The lack of electricity and cost of having conventional utility requires people to burn kerosene and candles in homes. This is a health and safety issue that can cause chronic pulmonary disease and an impaired ability to read or conduct activities when the sun is down.

La Communidad de La Nueva Providencia consists of a lower and upper village that together are home to approximately 40 families. The community is on the site of a former coffee finca that was abandoned about a decade ago. Many of the residents are former employees of the finca and currently work in neighboring fincas.

The need for electricity and light at the Village is pressing. The arrival of dusk at 6 pm used to bring darkness to economic activity, education, and safety. Now, due to this project, the villagers have outdoor street lights and some indoor lights. However, there is still a high demand for electricity in the Village, for use in lighting all homes, operating equipment, and beginning powered economic activity. The need for a high-output, long-term electricity source is needed. As one resident stated, “Electricity is needed so that we do not have to live in darkness anymore.”

Phase 1 brought solar powered LED lights to individual households. Phase 2 brought Bogo Lights and large panel solar electric power. Phase 3 resulted in more solar panels and 13 street lights that provide outdoor light for the entire village. Phase 4 completed the powerhouse structure, which will house the turbine & generator. Phase 5 will focus on adding to the existing pipeline for future micro-hydroelectric power in the community, which will eventually provide long-term electricity for equipment and economic activity. Community surveys have been and will continue to be completed to assess the effectiveness of the project and remaining community needs.

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Small Charity of the Year


Engineers Without Borders – Marquette University


EWB-USA supports community-driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders. Our VISION is a world in which the communities we serve have the capacity to sustainably meet their basic human needs, and that our members have enriched global perspectives through the innovative professional educational opportunities through EWB-USA.


  • This Achievement alone raised $50,000
  • This charity has raised $8,000 in the past year
  • This Achievement helped 350 people
  • This charity has helped 80 people since January 1, 2011
  • Renewable energy system installed in a village of 51 families to eliminate the health effects of breathing fumes from kerosene and candles

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