Nineteen volunteers from Hoosier State electric cooperatives departed recently on a two-week mission to bring power for the first time to 95 homes in the rainforest community of San Jacinto in northern Guatemala. The effort—sponsored by Indianapolis-based Indiana Electric Cooperatives (IEC, statewide)—was assisted with $70,000 in combined International Projects Matching Grants (login required) provided by CFC and NCSC.

"This is our fourth electrification trip to Guatemala since 2012," says Jennifer Rufatto, IEC vice president of communications and human resources. "Through our Project Indiana philanthropy and the aid it receives from individuals, organizations and foundations, we're making sustainable change possible in these remote and difficult-to-access regions. More than extending electric service by erecting poles and wires, our work delivers the promise of better healthcare, fresh drinking water, expanded educational opportunities, economic development and increased public safety."

CFC and NCSC launched the matching grants initiative in 2017, with funds channeled exclusively through electric cooperative statewide associations that sponsor electrification projects aimed at supplying rural residents in foreign countries with life-changing electric service. To date, 15 statewides have benefited.

"CFC has supported NRECA International for many years, and these types of direct contributions let us leverage those resources to a new level," explains CFC CEO Sheldon C. Petersen. "Importantly, they allow many more electric cooperative volunteers to participate in overseas electrification endeavors and experience what it's like when someone flips a switch and watches lights come on for the first time.”

Follow the project journey.