Meet one of our distributors in Guatemala, Mayan Power and Light, who promote grassroots community development with social entrepreneurship and renewable, appropriate technologies. They strive to provide a hand up instead of a handout to these in poverty, working with over 15 rural communities across the Western Highlands of Guatemala to spread awareness and access to sustainable technologies that save health and the environment. These technologies include solar power, clean cookstoves and water filters. In order to provide access to these technologies, they create social businesses and empower the local communities.
Through their Solar School projects, they developed very close community relationships and saw that there was no source of clean drinking water at school or at home. Families have to boil water over fires, causing deforestation and extra labor (families spend an average of 40 hours per week collecting firewood for cooking). With these things in mind, they decided to partner with Business Connect to add the distribution of durable 0.1 micron water filters to their work. These filters make clean drinking water available on demand, reducing the risk of illness and saving the family money spent on bottled water or firewood.
The team at Mayan Power and Light have already distributed many water filters. They delivered 300 water filters to communities impacted by the volcano explosion in 2018 – alleviating their dependence on donated bottled water which was creating incredible mountains of waste in this rural area where no garbage or recycling services were available. They received encouragement from the communities affirming that donating water filters was the smart, sustainable solution for emergency response. Longlife water filters helped families have a sense of security and did not create an extra problem in a precarious situation. They also took action again this year to deliver water filters to 100 at-risk families during COVID.
Starting in 2021, they hope to create long term access to Village Water filters by helping 12 rural women leaders start businesses selling sustainable solutions for health. Collectively, they will reach over 10,000 people every year with this essential solution for health. At Business Connect, we are excited to see the impact of Mayan Power and Light grow over these next few years. Their work to empower those in rural communities is what we strive to do every day through our distributors. We always want to be creating hope through business.