Five Years of Power: Las Cuevas, Guatemala

In 2012 NRECA International and Indiana electric cooperatives brought electricity to three isolated mountain villages in western Guatemala. Volunteer linemen built new distribution lines and connected electricity to more than 175 households and businesses for the very first time. This  area is known for its coffee farms, its beauty and very rugged terrain. Without help from NRECA International and American electric co-ops, these villages and others like it could be decades away from receiving electricity.

Today residents of one of these villages—Las Cuevas, have felt the positive impact of affordable and reliable electricity. For the four generations of the Villatoro family, daily chores done by hand are a thing of the past. Deafening sounds of an electric mill grinding corn for the day’s meals is the norm, as is the churning of clothes in a washing machine. A family-owned store now sells frozen meat, and ice cream is popular in the summer time. The family spends half of the previous $28 price tag for candles on its monthly electricity bill, and the children can use electric lights and a computer to study and do homework.

Here are their stories.