Mayan Power and Light catalyzes local, green economies by empowering community leaders with entrepreneurship training and energy saving technologies for social and environmental regeneration. Since 2013, we have installed solar on over 21 community buildings reaching 36,800 people, we trained 150 women in business skills and taught over 600 people hands-on solar power basics.
For many women in Guatemala, the pandemic has meant no job and no unemployment benefits or other protection. Mayan women face even higher obstacles to overcoming poverty due to gender-based discrimination, social norms, disproportionate involvement in unpaid work, and unequal access to education, healthcare, and property (ILO, 2019). Energy poverty, contaminated water and deforestation are major concerns for this group where an alarming 75% live in poverty.
MPL promotes environmental solutions to poverty led by women, breaking gender norms about technology, business and leadership. MPL leaders and staff come from the very communities they serve. The program integrates major concerns like cost of electricity, waterborne diseases and deforestation by making the solution available for low-income people, for example, affordable solar kits and water filters that can be paid according to their capacity.
We are building resilient local economies where small businesses and food producers can serve their communities' needs in the face of increasing crises by empowering community leaders with new tools and tactics to pull themselves out of poverty. More economic participation of rural women will improve the next generation's health and educational achievements. Green technologies will be available to everyone to improve public health and reduce pressure on the environment.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
The Appropriate Technology Collaborative
Mayan Power and Light Website for Guatemala
Mayan Power and Light Global Top 100 Award