ATC Blog

We are sometimes asked "why don't you do your work in the United States"? I first explain that we do have a program in the U.S., and here are some thoughts on international development work.

* All people deserve the opportunity to have a healthy and happy life. It doesn't matter where you were born or if your family is poor or rich.

* We chose to try out new programs and technologies in Guatemala and Latin America. Based on our success, we are often asked to help other NGOs start programs like ours in different parts of the world. This helps us reach millions of people.

* Recently I've experienced an increase in people pointedly asking why we are working internationally when there are poor people in (poor place USA). I
sometimes politely ask what they are doing to solve the problem but unfortunately this is usually the end of the conversation.

Q: Is there a better way of having this conversation? I genuinely think that if I could get people thinking of what they can do to improve conditions in the U.S. we might have a lot more people living better lives.

One thought on international development work. With a $30.00 solar light that is sold to a family that lacks electricity has incredible and multiple benefits. One benefit is the family saves money they would have spent on candles and kerosene for lamps. Our solar lights are much brighter so women do handicrafts at night and have more things to sell in the market. This = more income. Their kids do their homework at night for the first time. They do better in school and are more likely to stay in school longer. There is a direct correlation between education and income. Kids that have more education grow up to have greater incomes. This is often out of poverty in one generation with the purchase of a $30.00 solar light. Our work in the U.S. requires much greater resources to provide opportunity for people to improve their lot in life. Here in Guatemala $30 can work miracles.

Photo: Seven kids holding miracles.
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Molly BarrieKeep up the good work!17 hours ago

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The Appropriate Technology Collaborative added 2 new photos.

It was so nice to see honey from our San Pablo team in the local store.

— Products shown: Honey from Utz Kab', San Pablo la Laguna, Guatemala.
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The Appropriate Technology Collaborative added 3 new photos.

Prototype plastic recycler developed with Michigan State University,
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The Appropriate Technology Collaborative shared Volunteer Travel With The Appropriate Tech. Collaborative's post.

Still time to join us July 1, 2017 or August 1, 2017
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Scenes from ATC Volunteer Trips. A hike in the mountains on Lake Atitlan, 3 kids who insisted we take their photo, learning natural building and a celebration at the end of a project.

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We have been looking at projects in the Nicaragua and Guatemala City dumps. Houses are built in the dump for people who sort recyclables. This young woman brings her baby to the dump in a cardboard box. She places the box in the wretched smelling garbage so she can sort plastic bottles for recycling. Rats scurry around and vultures circle overhead.

ATC can create a program to support women who sort recyclables. We can set up plastic recycling right next to the dump, and we can help local women start to manufacture new products from recycled materials. We can employ women who now work inside the dump + we can help them find high quality day care for their kids.

Anyone interested? Hit the 'Contact Us' button and we can talk, or email info (at) apptechdesign (dot) org
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The Appropriate Technology CollaborativeWe are looking at making simple things first and then move into injection molding. My friend Bob Stack has a small injection molder here at Maker Works. Photo: Recycled Tide bottle with a little Folgers and mustard bottles. This can be a blank for an Iphone case.1 month ago   ·  1
Becky Steider GroverHi John, I'm interested in talking about this. I'll be at Maker Works Thursday and Friday. Do either of those work?1 month ago   ·  1
Greg LongI'm in John, I take particular interest in this subject having seen many people throughout the developing world living and raising their children in the garbage dumps. It has always been something that I think about and the images will never leave me.1 month ago
Linda HeiAna Vrsalovic consider this for your project? I work with these guys, they are 100% trustworthy. Let me know if you need a contact.1 month ago
Heather ThomsonI'm very interested!1 month ago   ·  1
Katie Rehfeld TiltonYou do fantastic work and if I can ever help, let me know! I am limited on time these days but have a big heart and lots of interest in helping others. I would absolutely love to join you on a trip some day, have wanted to for years! Keep up the good work!1 month ago
Greg LongHmmm, food for thought1 month ago

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Two projects from 2009. University students designed and built a treadle pump for small scale rural farmers and another group designed and built a solar vaccine refrigerator. Both designs are available from our website. Check out: apptechdesign.org/design-library/solar-vaccine-refrigerator/ and: apptechdesign.org/design-library/treadle-pump/
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