With the flip of the switch, lives were forever changed. A team of expert co-op linemen recently traveled to Bolivia to bring electricity to the small village of Laphía – and the mission deeply impacted both the villagers and volunteers. Go behind the scenes of the Brighter World Initiative in a new video.
Facing challenging terrain, high elevation and minimal access to equipment, volunteers pulled wire and constructed power lines by hand to connect more than 75 buildings to electricity, including the local school. Villager Benjamin Vargas said access to electricity will bring many benefits to the community of 120 people.
“Our village will grow a lot because of one the biggest benefits will be that our children will be able to write and do their homework with light,” said villager Benjamin Vargas in Spanish. “It will … give our children a way to improve their education and better themselves.”
Vargas went on to say that electricity will allow the community to be more productive.
“Work will now be easier to perform using the proper machinery… before electricity we didn’t have that option.”
The project also left a lasting mark on volunteers.
“These linemen run wire every day, but what they did for this village is more than running wires,” said Alan Merck of Blue Ridge Energy. “They built relationships, and they have improved the lives of folks a quarter of the way around the world. Their lives have changed as much as the people they have helped.”
The Brighter World Initiative is a collaborative project of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives and NRECA International, a national cooperative philanthropic group that has brought electricity to more than 160 million people in 44 developing countries since 1962.