All around the world, more than 1.1 billion people live in darkness when the sun goes down. In Guatemala, a staggering 20% of the population is deprived of electricity—a basic necessity most people take for granted. ENGIE Resources and Watts of Love have partnered together to bring sustainable solar lighting to remote villages without access to power in Guatemala. ENGIE Resources if the third largest retail electricity in the United States and has a rich history of philanthropic giving. Watts of Love is a non-profit focused on providing power to people around the world. Their goal is to bring light to those who are left in darkness. Light is one of the most efficient and safest ways out of poverty as people can work after sunset without a forced dependence on dangerous kerosene lamps.
The collaboration between the two organizations aims to distribute 250 solar LED lanterns with built-in audio FM radio/MP3 players across Guatemala. These solar LED lights are able to output up to 500 lumens, matching the power of a 40-watt light bulb. Watts of Love will be providing education on how to use the lantern as well as all the benefits of solar power and the audio/MP3 player attachment. The multiple safety, health, and financial benefits of solar lighting can make a big difference in impoverished villages. Additionally, the solar lanterns are ten times as powerful as kerosene lamps, eliminating the reliance on costly and hazardous kerosene.
Sayun Sukduang, CEO of ENGIE, is excited about the collaboration and wants this project to serve as a platform to build cleaner, more sustainable energy for underprivileged people living without power. To John Economou, co-founder of Watts of Love, “giving the gift of power to Guatemalans in remote villages provides far more benefits than the advantage of lighting alone as we are delivering the opportunity for people to improve their health, education, and positively impact their economies.” We at M4G know the amazing benefits solar power can have and are also excited to see the impact this project will have on Guatemala!