Mayan Power and Light:
In 2013 ATC started Mayan Power and Light (MPL), a program to teach young Guatemalan Mayan women about electricity, circuits and solar power. The goal of MPL is to start woman-owned for-profit solar businesses and to expand into other Latin American and Caribbean countries. Mayan Power and Light is recognized as one of the top 100 sustainable enterprises worldwide by Sustainia, who works in collaboration with the United Nations Compact For Sustainable Development.
We incubated our first majority woman-owned solar business, SEA Solar, in 2014. Through SEA and our previous solar work, we have provided solar power and light to over 11,000 people in the western highlands of Guatemala.
Mayan Power and Light has provided hundreds of Guatemalans a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) based curriculum. With hands-on learning, students discover how to create electrical circuits and install solar power systems.
Starting in 2015, with a grant from the Rotary Club of Nelson, British Columbia, we are incubating 6-12 women-owned micro businesses in un-electrified communities to create access to clean solar through women’s leadership. We train rural Mayan women in a weeklong intensive solar installation and business and marketing skills.
This was the first time any of our MPL students had received any form of technical training and for many this is the first time they are earning their own income.
MPL business incubation services are provided by SEA (Soluciones Energéticas Apropiadas) Mayan Power and Light’s first solar business in Guatemala. Led by a group of professionals who have years of experience starting successful sustainable businesses in Guatemala, SEA constitutes the social enterprise incubated by Mayan Power and Light. The lead-team at SEA offers sales and marketing support to MPL micro businesses, creating new job opportunities for women in rural areas.
Thousands of people awaken each morning to Mayan Power and Light’s solar lights, breathing cleaner air, seeing with better light and achieving greater productivity than ever before.
The Future of Mayan Power and Light:
We are now expanding Mayan Power and Light to provide the essential technologies of solar lighting, clean cookstoves and water purification. Each technology has been extensively tested in Least Economically Developed countries and have been shown to improve health and economic well-being in low-income families.
- Solar lighting improves household productivity and educational advancement for low-income children.
- Clean drinking water provides better nutritional health and reduces the burden of water-borne parasites. Clean drinking water improves nutritional uptake in children and reduces malnutrition and stunting.
- Clean cookstoves greatly improve indoor air quality and reduce respiratory diseases common among low-income women and children.
We can provide these essential technologies at an affordable price using a novel weekly payment program. The combined benefits provided by bright lights, clean air and potable water provide an avenue to break the vicious cycle of poverty. Over the next 3 – 5 years we will head up continued business incubation services for Mayan Power and Light and expansion of the program. Each new MPL based business will serve 5,000 – 10,000 people per year. Mayan Power and Light would not be possible without our collaborative partners, Soluciones Energéticas Appropriadas, and The Rotary Foundation.
More information on our Mayan Power and Light program: Mayan Power and Light
Circuits and Solar programs: Mayan Power and Light is based on our successful “Circuits and Solar” curriculum designed to reach people with very little technical background. We work with teachers in local communities and prepare them to teach the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) curriculum. The Circuits and Solar classes includes electronics kits, curriculum, PDF text books and other support materials. Contact us to find out more about teaching Circuits and Solar in your community.
Mayan Power and Light now includes technical education on water purification, sanitation and an introduction to combustion and flow for cookstoves.