Two OEC linemen begin journey to Guatemala
Fifteen co-op volunteer linemen departed the country on Sept. 16 for Guatemala. One of the team members was District Lineman Brad Scott.
Led by OEC’s own Derec Janaway, the team is on a mission to build power lines in two isolated villages – Pie de Cerro and Tierra Blanca Salinas – in the region of Ixcán near the Mexican border, providing first-time electricity to 100 families, two health centers, two elementary schools and five churches.
The project will consist of 130 poles in approximately 4.34 miles of primary line and 3.86 miles of secondary line. Most of the terrain will be flat, but about one mile of line will be built in dense rainforest surroundings. The homes will receive a minimum of four light bulbs, two light switches and electrical outlets.
The locals live in humble means without running water, food refrigeration, or the ability to use electric appliances for house chores or to aid in their economic growth. A local municipal utility, Empresa Municipal Rural de Electricidad (EMRE), based in Playa Grande, Ixcán, will maintain the power lines once they are built. The volunteers are scheduled to return to the United States on Oct. 4, 2018.
“Bringing electricity to remote areas in developing countries takes electric cooperatives back to their roots,” says OAEC General Manager Chris Meyers. “It reinforces our commitment to improve the quality of life for local communities at home and abroad.”
Scott and Janaway join six others from Oklahoma and seven linemen from Colorado embarking on this life-changing experience. Janaway traveled to Bolivia in 2016 on Oklahoma’s first international project, and District Lineman Clint Mobley joined a team in Guatemala in 2017.
“We are proud to have two dedicated men on this mission, working hard to empower far-away communities,” said CEO Patrick Grace.
Follow the Energy Trails team's journey online at