LITTLE ROCK — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas said Tuesday will partner with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association International Foundation to help bring electricity to parts of rural Guatemala.
The NRECA represents the national interests of cooperative electric utilities. The foundation works in Latin America, Africa and Asia to provide access to reliable, safe and affordable electricity in remote rural areas.
"Electric cooperatives were originally formed to provide reasonably priced electric service to rural Americans that otherwise would be unable to afford electricity," said Duane Highley, president and CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. "Electricity provided by electric cooperatives transformed lives in the 1940s. Over the next two years, we will assist in transforming the lives of the residents of four remote villages in Huehuetenango, Guatemala."
Highley said the Arkansas electric cooperatives and other organizations are donating materials, labor and funds to assist with the project. Cooperative crews will assist in construction of electric distribution line, related infrastructure and provide some training to local line workers.
"Today, 1.5 billion people around the world still do not have access to electricity," said Ingrid Hunsicker, NRECA International Foundation Manager. "Electricity encourages educational and economic opportunities, paving a pathway for expanded health care services and more reliable water treatment facilities. Electricity raises the standard of living in communities around the globe. We truly appreciate the cooperative spirit of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas toward this great project."