“It was a very rewarding experience. The hard work really paid off when we saw all the smiling faces and witnessed how electrification would directly impact this village,” said Hoff.
PALMETTO, GA, October 20, 2023 – Coweta-Fayette EMC’s Apprentice Lineman Connor Hoff participated in a statewide rural electrification project last month, where 15 linemen from Georgia’s electric cooperatives traveled to Sesaltul, Guatemala to help bring electricity to 90 families in need.
“The main thing that stood out to me about this experience was how much we take for granted having access to power in our everyday lives. These people were without power. Most of them had very minimal paying jobs; and nonetheless, they were all very happy. They didn’t complain about anything,” said Hoff.
Linemen from Cobb EMC, Coweta-Fayette EMC, Greystone Power, Habersham EMC, Jackson EMC, Snapping Shoals EMC, and Walton EMC spent 17 days working in the remote village, located in north central Guatemala. They built four miles of electric lines, hung six transformers, and wired 90 homes, two schools and one church. The project electrified the village and brought power to 90 families, who according to Hoff, had been without power for most of their lives.
“The people from this community were just very excited to have power,” said Hoff. “A lot of them have been without power for the majority of their lives and this was the first time they’ve been able to experience what it’s like to flip a light switch. It was a bit emotional seeing their reactions because it was a big day for them, and hopefully it changes their lives for the better.”
Since becoming a lineman in 2016, Hoff had dreamt of helping electrify impoverished areas, so when the opportunity arose, he knew he didn’t want to miss it.
“This experience was one for the books, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to do this through NRECA,” said Hoff. “Bringing power to those in need has been a dream of mine, and it really opened my eyes. It taught me to appreciate the little things in life more.”
“Connor Hoff wanted to be a part of this mission and to give back to others in need, and I am proud of him and all the volunteer linemen for their commitment and hard work,” said CFEMC President & CEO Chris Stephens. “This was the largest international project we have completed, and Connor and the other volunteers were able to complete the installation of the facilities in 2 weeks. The impression it made on the residents and the volunteers was incredible when they turned the lights on for the first time. It not only changed the lives of the residents, but the volunteers will be forever changed too.”
This electrification project was sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative’s International Foundation. Coweta-Fayette EMC is proud to be involved in the NRECA International program.
“Being involved with the NRECA International program allows us the opportunity to provide electricity to people who have never had it,” said Stephens. “Reliable electricity lifts communities out of poverty, it encourages economic growth, better education, healthcare and everything else that comes with power.”
Coweta Fayette EMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to over 80,000 consumers in Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Fulton, Clayton, Meriwether, Spalding, and Troup counties.