Mayan Power and Light

by Appropriate Technology Collaborative
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Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Students With Diplomas
Students With Diplomas

We installed solar power and created yet another solar computer lab in the very remote school in La Unilla, Guatemala.  This is another of our "past the last mile" solar school installations.  This time we stretched the solar power to reach three buildings. Now in this very dark village there are bright lights that provide comfort and a community space where local people can meet and organize.  

La Unilla is a cardamom growing region in Guatemala.  The local farmers and laborers grow the aromatic seed pods and for three months out of the year they dry and sell the pods.  For the rest of the year they take what work they can to keep body and soul together.  We are so proud to work with the La Unilla solar committee to create new opportunity for their students to learn computer skills.  

This year, in addition to creating solar schools MPL will be teaching classes focused on sustainability and business skills.  

Our classes are recognized by regional government agencies.  MPL can now provide certificates to our graduates.  

For example here is a description of our "Appropriate Technologies for Entrepreneurship" class.  Students who complete the class receive a Diploma that is recognized by the Directorate of Education of the Municipality of Quetzaltenango.

Project Description: 

Generations of change is a project that is aimed at students of the basic and secondary level, it is developed through the "Appropriate Technologies for Entrepreneurship" diploma, to teach the following topics: 1 Importance of environmental education, 2. Appropriate technologies for development, 3. Sustainable economic and social development through the use of appropriate technologies.   The class lasts three months.  It is divided into different theoretical and practical sessions, the diploma course is endorsed by the departmental Directorate of Education of the Municipality of Quetzaltenango.

The project aims to raise awareness among adolescents and young people about the impact of environmental pollution and identify what are the types of clean technologies and how to use them at home as an alternative environmental solution, and a way to identify and start an enterprise to generate some kind of extra income in the family, benefiting 150 - 180 students from the establishments of the Choquí canton, San José Chiquilajá and the Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán Institute, and potentially CEIPA School, Quetzaltenango. The training contributes to the knowledge of young people on how to take advantage of the resources they have within their reach and with this they acquire a commitment and responsibility for the care of the environment and the rational use of natural resources in a sustainable and sustainable manner.

Project Objectives:  Significantly strengthen educational programs to inspire social change towards the environment, improving the quality of life of new generations through educational programs aligned with the CNB.

Expected Impact: 150-180 basic level students (ages 12-17) understand ecological solutions through the use of appropriate or alternative technologies and how these technologies can be a means of personal, family or community economic development. 

We have become more integrated into the communities where we work while we expand our area of influence.  

These are exciting times for MPL as we:

  • Create computer labs where students can learn skills that they can apply from nearly anywhere on the planet
  • Teach the next generation about environmental issues 
  • Create environmental solutions that help kids get jobs in environmentally responsible businesses

There is a lot happening this year and I look forward to keeping everyone up to date on our progress.

Cheers,

John Barrie

Executive Director

La Unilla At Night
La Unilla At Night
Installing Solar In The Rain
Installing Solar In The Rain

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First Solar Home System Installation
First Solar Home System Installation

I had a feeling '21 was going to be a good year - and it has.  In fact, 2021 has been a great year for ATC and our Mayan Power and Light program. In spite of global challenges we expanded our online programs, reached people in extremely remote villages and we created programs that provide a path out of poverty for thousands of people.

I took time this year to visit many of our early Mayan Power and Light projects to see first-hand the long term impact of our work.

In 2007 we were started field testing our MPL program. We installed our first locally manufactured solar LED light kits in several unelectrified homes, and while expected great things over time we discovered the impact of solar power was immediate. Families had more time for meaningful work, kids studied at night for the first time and families saved money they once spent on candles.

This year I found our impact is even greater than I first thought. For example I visited the Garcia family who save over $32 per month because they no longer purchase candles for their night time thread and yarn making business. The family is well on their way out of poverty with just one Mayan Power and Light solar power system. 

This year Mayan Power and Light completed two solar school projects in very remote parts of Guatemala. It took me 4 hours in a 4x4 truck on nearly impassible roads to meet up with our team.  

Our solar schools provide light for classes, community meetings and especially computer labs. I bring donated laptops for computer labs. Most of the schools we solarize are kindergarten to 7th grade. When we add computers the schools can provide evening high school classes for older kids who work day labor on local farms. We now have graduated our first classes of high school students.

Every year of education closely corresponds to an increase in income. Our computer labs give communities the tools they need to end poverty.

Please Help Us Make 2022 Our Best Year Yet

We simply can't do our important work without individual donations. Your end of year donation will help people out of poverty using smart sustainable technologies.  

-John Barrie

Founder

The Appropriate Technology Collaborative

Garcia Family Thread and Yarn Business
Garcia Family Thread and Yarn Business
Solar School Provides First Lights in Village
Solar School Provides First Lights in Village
MPL Solar Computer Lab
MPL Solar Computer Lab

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MPL1
MPL1

It is nearing the end of the year. Even in the difficult conditions of COVID, we’ve brought solar power and computer training opportunities to 243 students in 2 isolated rural schools beyond the last mile - San Rabinac and La Ceiba, two villages near Chicaman Quiché.

 

And now we’re gearing up to power up our third Solar Center at La Unilla school. La Unilla is an isolated community of 600 people who live 5 hours away from the electrical grid

and paved roads – requiring 4x4 vehicles to access. As cardamom producers and small-scale

farmers, they live in poverty, depending on day labor jobs at harvest times for seasonal

 

A generous donor contributed high-quality, second-hand computers to set up La Unilla’s computer lab run on solar power. Keep us in mind if you have out-of-date laptops; kids need them to learn to type!

 

Meanwhile, our educational curriculum has been approved by the Ministry of Education of Quetzaltenango. We’re teaching a daily course to 60 at-risk high school students about environmental protection, green technologies, and entrepreneurship. 

Thanks so much for your support! Without you, this could not have happened.

 

Thank you for supporting Mayan Power Light work with your generous regular donations. Your valuable gift is helping us provide long-term support to the inhabitants of Guatemala.

All of you help us keep Mayan Power and Light dreams alive. THANK YOU!

 

  • Michael
  • Jonathan
  • Kenneth
  • Janet
  • Timothy
  • David
  • Nadine
  • Emilia
  • Greg
  • Cassie
  • Potheri
  • Tom
  • Amanda
  • Lawrence
  • Anita
  • Milena
  • Sarah
  • David
  • Elizabeth
  • John
  • Larry
  • Karin

 

If you have any questions about your order or about our work, we would love to hear from you

https://www.poderyluzmaya.org/

MPL2
MPL2

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San Rabinac School students for a computer lab
San Rabinac School students for a computer lab

Last week the MPL field staff journied out to what we call the Last Mile communities 3-5 hours from commercial centers and paved roads. Here, there is no grid electricity, poor cellphone service and a lack of government services for health and education.

These remarkable communities came together to break the cycle of poverty - they chipped in cash and labor to build their schools and bridges. They bought a gasoline generator and gathered a few computers to provide their kids with a modern education. Out here, many homes have small solar power systems to light the space and charge a cellphone, but using a computer has been out of reach. 

That's where MPL comes in. Word of Mayan Power and Light's solar schools have spread across the region -  teachers and community leaders from three communities formed Solar Committees to power their school computer labs, with concrete fundraising plans to maintain their equipment.  We met with all three comittees to move plans forward to have three schools electrified by the end of the year! 

Schools in La Unilla and San Rabinac (photos attached) will be powered by the sun by the end of July!  

Solar power is a big investment, but it's an immediate solution to Energy Poverty. With a solar power school, the whole community has access to charge their cellphones, their kids can learn to type and go to highschool, and the community can meet at night. Solar Schools enable rural students to take computer classes and aspire to professional jobs.

In this way, MPL can uplevel underserved communities that are committed to improving living conditions for the next generation. 

Our visit to San Rabinac and La Unilla last week finalized a year of planning and cooperation with representatives of community councils and associations who have proven themselves ready to manage their school solar power system effectively.

As always, its an honor and inspiration to work with such dedicated community leaders. 

Finalizing project plans with community leaders
Finalizing project plans with community leaders
Road to the Last Mile Solar Schools
Road to the Last Mile Solar Schools

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Mayan Power and Light Team reopens office, 2021
Mayan Power and Light Team reopens office, 2021

Thank you so much for donating to Mayan Power and Light in 2020.  With your generous support, we served hundreds of households, 3,967 people, last year. 

Forced to pivot for COVID, in 2020 we reached 30 women entrepreneurs with online social business coaching, we provided 319 children with solar lamps for homeschool, 100 families with household water filters, 100 families with food assistance, and we benefited 2 schools (1200+ people) with solar power to better serve their at-risk communities. 

We took advantage of the work-from-home order to develop our organizational capacity with back-office improvements.  We created a strong monitoring and evaluation database tracking tool and mobile application for the women's entrepreneurship program.  These tools will ensure comprehensive data collection of the program’s impacts and reach, while utilizing our staff’s time and effort efficiently.

We perfected our green technologies training manual, and identified the most affordable and durable water filters, solar kits and clean cookstoves to help thousands of rural poor improve energy efficiency, save money and save the environment.  The first 104 solar kits have arrived at our office this month, and we are now the official country distributor of VF100 water filters. 

In 2021, we are hiring 3 rural promoters and training 5 current staff members to extend workshops and distribute green technologies to over 10,000 rural people. We will support 120 women’s businesses with action planning to increase their income, and 3 interns will track their businesses over 6 months to demonstrate results.

Thank you for supporting Guatemalan communities with sustainable solutions that break the cycle of poverty. 

We're glad we can count on you as part of the team,

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Organization Information

Appropriate Technology Collaborative

Location: Ann Arbor, MI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Luis Cahuex
Ann Arbor, MI United States
$176,389 raised of $390,000 goal
 
2,497 donations
$213,611 to go
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