NOWLIGHTS Support Student Learning in Remote Villages of SARSTÚN, GUATEMALA (Updated)

Providing light and electricity in Ak’tenamit Guatemala
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Remote villages in the Aprosarstun region in Guatemala have no electricity

In February 2021, in collaboration with Viaduct Foundation, S.H.A.R.E. provided NowLights to a group of students in two very remote Guatemalan communities. NowLights are an innovative human powered (with optional solar panel) USB charging system and light, from Deciwatt. The goal of the project was to evaluate the NowLights as an inexpensive, simple-to-operate, and reliable portable energy source.

The communities of Cerro Blanco and Blue Creek are in the Sarstún region, an ecological protected area where the population, living in remote, scattered villages, generally has neither road access nor electricity.
Students in these communities lacked an energy source to charge their eTablets as many are mandated to study remotely due to the COVID pandemic. Lessons covering two months of classes are loaded on the eTablets at the school and are provided to these students. A secondary goal was to provide the students with adequate lighting to perform their schoolwork.

In July 2021, the NowLights finally arrived in the villages and were quickly set up for student use. They simply need to be hung on an interior wall of the student’s dwelling. After seven months continuous use, we are able to report . . . . Success!

The units:

Performed as:

  • advertised – both with charging and providing light.
  • Installation was easy, and no particular technical expertise required. Students remarked they were easily switched from pull-cord charging to placing them outside for charging using the solar panel.
  • No failures or problems have been noted to-date.
  • The students love them, and are asking for more for their fellow students.

We leave you with this touching comment from a student who benefited from the NowLight.

'We also used it to provide light so as to be able to eat together as a family during the evening. Since it is an important factor in the community where there are no lights, so it is always necessary to light the house for the consumption of food especially dinner. '
Next steps . . . more NowLights.


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