Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas linemen recently completed a mission to electrify two remote Guatemalan villages near the Mexican border resulting in approximately 105 villagers receiving electricity for their homes.

During the mission, the electric cooperative linemen from Arkansas worked with EMRE, a municipal electric utility, to expand service to rural areas including Las Tortugas and San Jorge communities. Their efforts included the construction of approximately 7.5 miles of power lines in jungle-like conditions.

The crew members were presented with plaques at a celebration event in Las Tortugas to commemorate the delivery of electricity to the village.

Linemen and their respective cooperatives that participated in the project included: Kenneth Byrd and Zac Pettis with Arkansas Valley Electric of Ozark; Terry Harkey with Craighead Electric of Jonesboro; Keith Uselton with Mississippi County Electric of Blytheville; Joey Burk and Billy Smart with North Arkansas Electric of Salem; Richard Freeland with Ouachita Electric of Camden; Doug Evans and Jamie Reeves with Petit Jean Electric of Clinton; Kyle Thomason and Brandon Winer with Southwest Arkansas REA of Texarkana; Daniel Baker with Woodruff Electric of Forrest City; and Kevin Riddle with Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. of Little Rock. NRECA International coordinated the project.

Combined with previous projects Arkansas electric cooperative linemen have assisted in providing electric service to more than 1,700 rural Guatemala and Bolivian residents that otherwise would not have service.