Volunteer Linemen Electrify Remote Village in Guatemala

Nov. 14, 2017
Thirteen linemen from Oklahoma's electric cooperatives brought electricity to a remote village in Guatemala for the first time.

Up until a month ago, the village of Chiis in Guatemala had no electricity. Eighty families, who lived in this community, had no electric lights or source of power--until now. As part of the Oklahoma Energy Trails Foundation, 13 linemen from Oklahoma cooperatives built 1.74 miles of primary lines and 1.2 miles of secondary line.  

“We are grateful for the overwhelming response of Oklahoma co-op linemen who are willing to leave their homes for an extended period of time to empower far-away communities,” says OAEC International Committee Chairman Jimmy Taylor. “Access to electricity will bring economic empowerment, better access to health care and enhanced safety for these villagers. It’s a life-changing gift.”

For the volunteer project, the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives partnered with the NRECA International. The following linemen volunteered to power the village in Guatemala:

  • Jason Blalock (Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Stigler, Oklahoma)
  • Jason Childress (East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Okmulgee, Oklahoma)
  • Jake Collier (Northwestern Electric Cooperative, Woodward, Oklahoma)
  • Daniel Franco (Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative, Seminole, Oklahoma)
  • Darren Frazier (Choctaw Electric Cooperative, Hugo, Oklahoma)
  • Heath Gossen (CKenergy Electric Cooperative, Binger, Oklahoma)
  • Team Leader Damon Lester (Indian Electric Cooperative, Cleveland, Oklahoma)
  • Tim Jenlink (Alfalfa Electric Cooperative, Cherokee, Oklahoma)
  • Rodney Johnson (Cimarron Electric Cooperative, Kingfisher, Oklahoma)
  • Clint Mobley (Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman, Oklahoma)
  • Andrew Pool (Central Electric Cooperative, Stillwater, Oklahoma)
  • Matt Montgomery (Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Vinita, Oklahoma)
  • Jeremy Shaffer (Kiamichi Electric Cooperative, Wilburton, Oklahoma)

After these volunteers returned home, the local utility, ADECORK, continued to generate power with a small hydroelectric plant. 

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