ATC Celebrates 2016

ATC Celebrates 2016!

ATC touched many lives with the gift of opportunity in 2016. We were recognized as a global leader in sustainable development, we hosted several groups of international volunteers and we started to expand our programs into Southeast Michigan.

16 Things That Made 2016 Brighter

dscn28101. Our Mayan Power and Light program was recognized as one of the world’s top 100 leaders in global sustainability according to Sustainia, a Copenhagen-based firm working in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Development Program. ATC’s Mayan Power and Light program assists low-income women in rural Guatemala in starting and maintaining clean energy businesses. A short video about the project is available here. This is great tribute to our partners in Guatemala and our international volunteers who make this work possible. You will see much more about Mayan Power and Light in the new year.

In 2016 Mayan Power and Light was supported by the Rotary Club of Nelson, British Columbia and the Rotary Foundation.

2. In November Mayan Power and Light was featured as a Project of the Month on Global Giving. This honor is reserved for just a few of their many thousand programs. Special thanks to all who donated through the Global Giving platform.


Help us reach 10,000 people in 2017 with the essential technologies needed to end poverty.

  • Create Opportunity, Dignity and Health
  • Support clean technologies
  • Reduce greenhouse gasses
  • Stop deforestation
  • Provide clean water
  • Help child nutrition

Donate to Mayan Power and Light Here


3. In 2016 we reached over 10,000 people with solar light and clean technologies. In just one year ATC doubled our impact in Guatemala. What will 2017 bring? Stay tuned!

4. SEA Solar, the ATC incubated solar business in Guatemala is going strong. SEA has expanded their portfolio of clean technolgies to include solar powered refrigerators, solar hot water, and clean cookstoves. SEA has also expanded to include teaching about clean technology holding workshops in rural villages and at Universities.


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5. Students at Michigan State University designed a solar food dehydrator that works exceptionally well.

Dehydrators preserve food so the abundance of the harvest season can nourish children during the rest of the year when food is scarce. Malnutrition is a real problem in rural Guatemala. Imagine free food for your family from your ATC dehydrator every year.

We were commissioned to build a food dehydrator for a nutrition center. ATC trained a team to make dehydrators and now we can provide affordable clean-tech food security.

ATC held our first workshop on how to safely use the solar dehydrator with the women who run the nutrition center. There were lots of great snacks!

Thank you for making this project possible.


6. MSU students designed a macadamia nut husking machine under the guiding hand of Dr. Brian Thompson. They visited Guatemala to gather more information on how local macadamia nut farmers would use their machine in January 2016. The husker is very robust and it can process thousands of nuts per hour. I saw the prototype MSU husker in action. It very neatly scores the skins and then literally shoots the nuts at a steel plate.

7. We hosted a solar power and natural building workshop in March 2016 at the CCDA Coffee Co-op in San Lucas Toliman. The solar power provides electricity through the frequent power outages and it is used as a demonstration for students of Mayan Power and Light workshops held at the Co-op. ATC and Mayan Power & Light super achiever Fatima (age 16 years) helped teach the class and demonstrate how to wire lights, switches and all the solar hardware. You should come on one of our international volunteer trips to install solar power. You get to learn about solar power while you work collaboratively with our very cool Guatemalan team.

8. In May, 2016 ATC hosted a solar workshop in the remote village of San Jose de San Lucas. This project featured Fatima teaching about solar power in her own community and to our international volunteers.

9. This year we had two projects with the Utz Kab, a youth bee collective. We helped them purchase beekeeping outfits for themselves and their protect volunteers, and we hosted a work party with students from the University of Idaho to reduce erosion and plant flowering perennials to provide food for the bees. Good work U of I!

10. In the very remote village of Finca la Florida we hosted a group of Interact students from Canada. They joined us and SEA Solar for a solar installation to provides the first electric power and lights in the village.

11. In September ATC Guatemala Program Director Monika Goforth visited ATC Ann Arbor. Monika presented ATC work at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and at our annual fundraiser. If you missed her talk, check out the radio podcasts below.

12. ATC On Radio and in Print – ATC was in the News several times in 2016. You can listen to us on WUOM Stateside, and on WCBN Its Hot In Here.

img_362013. In June ATC hosted a group of Girl Scouts from Ann Arbor. The Girl Scout troup built and repaired furniture for a Parvulos school (pre-school) in San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala. They were accompanied by several local Guatemalans including ATC star Fatima.13. In June ATC hosted a group of Girl Scouts from Ann Arbor. The Girl Scout troup built and repaired furniture for a Parvulos school (pre-school) in San Marcos la Laguna, Guatemala. They were accompanied by several local Guatemalans including ATC star Fatima.

ATC Board President Dr. Diana Wong was a chaperone on this trip and ATC Board member Tina Watson joined in. The furniture is now being used in classrooms that had only broken or damaged furniture.

A big thanks to the Girl Scouts!


14. We installed solar power on a school in San Jose de San Lucas Toliman with students from SUNY Oneonta. This installation provides light for up to 50 students per day, and it provides community solar power during frequent power outages.

dsc_034615. Early in 2016 we worked with a women’s organic amaranth grain farming cooperative. The women and their families were winnowing their harvests by hand, a process that could take the whole family two weeks to complete. Our team worked with the co-op to design, prototype and test a winnower, and the results were amazing. With a simple machine what once took a family two weeks would only take three hours! The ATC winnower makes farming amaranth much more profitable!


16. In April ATC and SEA conducted a Circuits and Solar workshop in Panajachel with Mayan Families. This workshop covered basic electricity concepts, solar power and how to use basic construction tools to wire up a solar power system.

We have dozens more projects, programs, technologies and success stories to share – stay tuned for newsletters in 2017.16. In April ATC and SEA conducted a Circuits and Solar workshop in Panajachel with Mayan Families. This workshop covered basic electricity concepts, solar power and how to use basic construction tools to wire up a solar power system.

Thank you all for your support in 2016. Help us start 2017 strong. There is still time to make a year end tax deductible donation to ATC. Our signature project, Mayan Power and Light still needs funding to grow. Please donate Here.

See you all in 2017,

John Barrie
Executive Director
The Appropriate Technology Collaborative

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