Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala

by Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim: Reinforcing Our Roots, Living Our Maya Heritage
Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala
Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala
Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala
Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala
Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala
Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala
Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala
Bring Solar Power to a Maya Community in Guatemala

In Guatemala, most rural communities do not have basic services such as potable water, electricity, health, education, and other government services. However, historically the same communities have known how to create and manage their own systems to cover their basic needs. Though it was founded in 1975, Blanca Flor still does not have electricity, which is why they’re looking for funds for their solar panel project.

The community of Blanca Flor has a very interesting organizational history, and this isn’t the only project the community is working on. Less than ten years ago, they founded an association registered with the Guatemalan government for the development of the community. The organization's members have since managed several projects, from rainwater collection (they don’t have drinking water), to repairing the road that leads to the community. 

They are currently looking for funding to buy land and build the association's office, since currently they have a temporary office built of wood and on a family’s land. They are also working on a fruit tree project for families, with the aim of contributing to the economy through the sale of native fruits.

In April of this year, the Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim, with the support of donors, and in coordination with the Ancestral Plurinational Government Q'anjob'al, Chuj and Akateko, was able to donate computer equipment to Blanca Flor, which it runs with a gasoline generator. This support has facilitated the preparation and printing of necessary documents without having to travel to the municipal seat as they used to have to do.

Thanks to the generous donation of several people through the GlobalGiving platform, it has been possible to direct this type of support to developing and remote communities. This support, without a doubt, promotes community development, which will help guarantee a dignified life.

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It is incredible to see how a small action can have big impacts in a community, especially when that community is geographically isolated, but powerfully organized. 

As part of the support and accompaniment that we are providing to the community of Blanca Flor, located 15 kilometers up a dirt road in the department of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, on April 13 we delivered a computer, a printer, a desk, and an office chair to furnish a community office. This donation was in response to a request from the community and is part of the project to acquire solar panels to provide electricity to 55 families. 

In the community assembly in which the equipment was handed off, an elected community representative explained what a difference this office equipment would make for them. It will transform an empty room in this isolated village into a community controlled non-profit organization. It will enable them to do basic, but crucial things like create documents, communicate with others, store important files and facilitate several projects, including that of the solar panels. In his speech, the representative offered deep thanks to Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim and all our donors on GlobalGiving for making this possible. 

Members of the Ancestral Plurinational Government of the Q'anjob'al, Chuj and Akateko nations, a close partner of ours, traveled with us to Blanca Flor. They had agreed to accompany us and also took advantage of the occasion to meet with the community to discuss strategies to move forward this project and to strengthen the autonomy of the territory. They also provided training for the members of the Board of Directors of the community association as part of a process of leadership development offered by the Ancestral Government. 

Fortunately, the current lack of electricity in the community will not prevent the use of the equipment, as they’ve secured a diesel generator to power it. However, the community is excited for the day when they will be able to power these tools and so many others with clean, renewable, solar energy.

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Project Leader:
Luis Marcos
Omaha, NE United States
$275 raised of $10,000 goal
 
8 donations
$9,725 to go
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