August 2015 Newsletter

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The Appropriate Technology Collaborative

August 21, 2015

Development Smash-Hit!

Solar power for lights, music, computers and a community cell phone charge-station at School AND a natural, locally designed Rocket-Plancha for fuel-efficient tortillas at Konojel Nutrition Center.

Done in 1 week of high impact development.

50 direct beneficiaries (304 indirect additional beneficiaries) at Konojel Nutrition Center can now eat their favorite staple food at the environmentally and economically sustainable organization using the new ATC designed “Rocket Comal”, a stove that uses about half as much wood as a traditional stove, it heats up fast and it burns so hot that even the smoke is burned thus making almost no soot or smoke.

70 students and teachers have electricity in their classrooms for music and computers. 200+ community members can now meet in a lighted community building at night. 200+ community members can charge their lanterns and cellphones. Plus, a family of 5 at the school guard’s house have light to read by for the first time ever.

That’s right, in one week, our amazing ATC team and diligent local and foreign volunteers pulled off two life-changing appropriate technology projects that benefit entire communities for years to come.

“How do we do it?”

ATC volunteers fund the development package of materials, staff, planning and follow-up to make a visible, direct impact with active community organizations.

This is how our week went:
Monday – Introduction to Solar Power hand-on technical course was taught to 8 community members including teachers, kitchen staff, and mothers and fathers in the Mil Milagros Nutrition Center.

Learning Solar at Tzununa.600Learning Solar With Local Community in Tzununa

Soluciones Energeticas Apropiadas, ATC’s social entrepreneurship project, taught the class as part of our Mayan Power and Light program, making solar technology an approachable resource for Mayan women.  Our volunteers took the class as well!
Tuesday – Solar panels were installed on the roof by ATC’s engineer Jose Ordonez and Andres, a local electrician (who seems to be joining the team since we got along so well). Volunteers learned electrical wiring skills with Andres while installing lights and outlets in the school guard’s house, classrooms and the nutrition center.

Solar Success in Tzanjomel.600 Solar Success in Tzununa – We Even Wired the Neighbor Guardian’s House!

Wednesday LIGHTS ON!  (One of the great moments in an ATC Volunteer Trip!)

Making an Eco-Comal.600 2 Making an Eco Stove at the Konojel Center 

Thursday – We built the base of our ATC-designed fuel-efficient Rocket-Plancha. Replacing a non-functioning rocket-stove, ATC modified the design to serve the Konojel Nutrition Center’s need for fuel-efficient tortillas!  Our local natural building expert, Rodolfo, spoke to our volunteers on the theory behind our stove’s design and instructed us how to make and apply natural earthen mortar and plaster. A design write-up to come!

Group Eco Comal.600Successful Completion of a Clean Burning Stove

Friday – STOVE DONE!

… A small project goes a long way.  In 1 week, two community service organizations are more sustainable and providing better services to their communities with the help of appropriate technology.

A very special thank you to our unsuspecting ATC volunteers who traveled from the U.S.A and the U.K. to learn and share in a fantastic week of empowering rural development. They worked hard and had a very good time.  ATC attracts the world’s best volunteers.  

Many thanks for your continued support, we send you all our best wishes from Guatemala.

More information on Volunteer Travel with The Appropriate Technology Collaborative:  ATC Volunteer Travel

Monika Goforth
Guatemala Program Manager
The Appropriate Technology Collaborative
San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala
Tel: (502) 5199-9632

ATC now serves over 10,000 people.  We need to maintain relationships and train local people in how to maintain new technologies.  Few, really almost no grants cover the 5 years we find necessary to teach local communities in maintenance, repair and even replacement of our existing programs.  Please consider a donation to ATC to help our Guatemalan staff to train local communities to take full ownership of ATC technologies.

  • Donate your time and talents by volunteering at the ATC office in Ann Arbor, Michigan or traveling on one of the ATC Travel Opportunities.

Contact or for more information on these opportunities.

  • Donate with Credit Card, Bank Account, or Paypal account by clicking link below.

From everyone at ATC, a heart felt Thank You!


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