Since 1962, NRECA International has developed dozens of rural electrification projects throughout Bolivia. One of the very first projects that NRECA International undertook was the establishment of Cooperativa de Rural de Electrificación Ltda. (CRE), which today serves 600,000 consumer members and is now the largest rural electric cooperative in the world.
In 2002, NRECA International implemented the Alternative Development Program (ADEP) to develop an extensive rural electrification program in the Yungas Valley of northern La Paz. The program focused on expanding electrification coverage as a means of improving agricultural and rural business activities for farmers, artisans, and small businessmen and improving the efficacy of the rural distribution service provider. ADEP was implemented in a highly sensitive coca reduction/eradication environment, posing numerous implementation challenges. The project eventually expanded to include construction of distribution system in Potosi Department as well.
Rural communities and local co-ops in Bolivia have benefited greatly from the expertise of volunteer power linemen and other staff from NRECA’s members, the U.S.-based rural electric co-ops. Recruited and managed by NRECA International, these volunteers continue to work with local co-ops and their communities to build and upgrade power lines, offer training and mentor local staff on how to successfully run a utility.
- USDA Food for Progress Program