Electricity, clean water and more for Guatemalan villages
Oklahoma and Colorado electric cooperatives gift Guatemalan villagers with first-time access to electricity, wheelchairs for two children who can’t walk, water filters and laptops and printers for local elementary schools. Photos by Studio 1441
Thank you” truly does not seem enough to express our gratitude to OKL’s readership for their generosity. Many of you might recall that in August we asked you to consider buying a water filter for a family in rural Guatemala. Our goal was to buy 120 water filters. However, your generosity exceeded our expectations: we not only bought 120 filters, but we had excess funds to do even more for the residents of Pie del Cerro and Tierra Blanca Salinas in northwestern Guatemala. Each of the elementary schools in the villages received a laptop, a printer and a good stock of cartridges. Now with electricity, the schools will have the ability to plug in a computer for the first time; they will utilize a dial-up connection via a modem to access Internet signal. Our hope is that these devices will aid in the education of the village children and open their horizons. But there’s more: while there, our team learned of a 10-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl who are not able to walk and are carrried by their mothers everywhere. We are happy to share that with your generous gift, we had enough funds to buy two wheelchairs for these children. Providing the wheelchairs was a moving experience and it provided immediate relief to the moms and more comfort for the kids.
The team of volunteer linemen from Oklahoma and Colorado’s electric cooperatives spent three weeks in these villages and returned in early October. They worked on a span of nearly nine miles of line to build power lines and bring first-time electricity to these two remote villages nestled in a rainforest near the Mexican border. The linemen were humbled and grateful for the opportunity to give each family the gift of light, a water filter and the gift of friendship. You will read more about their journey in the December edition of Oklahoma Living.
In this month of thankfulness, please know that your OKL staff is grateful for each of you, our valued readers. Thank you for joining Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives on this mission of empowering neighbors who have not been as fortunate as we have been in this great nation. To each of you we send a heartfelt thank you. Or as our friends in Guatemala would say, “Muchísimas gracias!”