Mayan Power and Light catalyzes local, green economies by empowering women and 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. The MPL solar homes program brings solar lights and water filters to rural families in the poorest communities.
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. The program integrates major concerns like cost of electricity, waterborne diseases and deforestation by making solutions available for low-income people. We raise awareness and access to simple, appropriate technologies that improve health and help people break out of poverty. STEM-rich workshops, business coaching and solar installations prepares us for the future.
Green technologies like water filters and solar power will be available to everyone, improving public health and reducing pressure on the environment. Encouraging small business and women's economic participation in rural areas provides the next generation's health and education. With solar families save money once spent on candles and kerosene lamps. Kids stay in school longer. Local economies become more resilient in the face of increasing natural crises.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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