Electrical power and solar power both came to the school in August. The Good Fellows Project donated a 260W, 4Kwh solar hook-up consisting of two photo-voltaic panels and four batteries.   (A great improvement over our 75W, .5Kwh setup).  This new system will be able to run the needs of staff and volunteers living at the school during construction, and improve working conditions for the entire crew.  All of LWH is extremely grateful to the GFP and the Millennium Institution for designing, transporting and donating the system. As the rainy season winds down and we get more sun we’ll be able to take full advantage of our new technology.

Just as this solar system was being hooked up our grid electricity finally showed up too! The grid power will run the tools and machinery of the Vocational workshops as well as aid in our current construction efforts.  It was especially exciting for me since I had spent countless hours working with the local government and electricity company to get the project through.

There were many points along the way when it seemed like it would never happen or I would never actually figure out the “right” way of getting electricity here.  Just when everything would seem set I would find out new information that had never been mentioned before, or I couldn’t

get a straight answer out of anyone, or I’d bring all the forms I was supposed to complete to find out that I was missing the actual form they wanted . . . it was all very bureaucratic, and Guatemalan.  But in the end, just when we were considering expensive bribes to obscure people the electric company work crew miraculously showed up with five 4-meter-tall concrete electric poles. Next came the exciting task of getting these poles from the main road up-hill to our site and then down-hill into their final locations.  Everyone pitched in and we collectively dragged and hoisted the poles into place with lots of sweaty pulling and encouragement from the Guatemalan foreman.  The cables were connected the next day, and voila, as of Aug.26th the Escuela Técnico Maya is connected to the municipal power grid.

With two kinds of power giving us light we are working faster and living comfortably. Next we’ll host a neighborhood party to celebrate the big milestone in construction and thank the neighbors that helped.