In 2008, volunteer linemen from the Georgia cooperatives went to the remote mountain region of Ixcan in Guatemala. Ixcan’s infrastructure had been devastated by the decades-long civil war that ravaged the country. When the war ended the local municipality established the Municipal Company for Rural Electrification, or EMRE as it is known in Spanish, to begin the process of restoring power to the region. EMRE made great progress over the years. However, they lacked the resources to fully electrify the villages in its service area. A call for help went out. NRECA International Foundation and the Georgia cooperatives answered the call, and helped bring reliable electrical power to more villages in Ixcan. One year later, NRECA and the Georgia volunteers returned to Ixcan. They saw that the power of change was everywhere…and it was astounding. The villagers, who once suffered high crime rates, now enjoyed increased safety simply because the streets were lit at night. Students were using computers to connect to far away places and learn about technology. Mother and infant mortality rates dropped significantly because local health clinics could now provide critical care when necessary. Businesses had affordable and reliable energy to boost services and production. And homes once lit solely by candlelight were now illuminated by electricity.
This brochure and video were showcased at the International Luncheon during the 2010 NRECA annual meeting, where over 800 members from the U.S. co-ops saw the powerful impact volunteers have had on impoverished rural villages around the world. The brochure also highlights those co-ops and individuals that in 2009 supported the NRECA International Foundation and its mission of electrifying the world… one village at a time.