Arkansas linemen bring electricity to Guatemalan villages

Arkansas linemen help villagers
Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 8:13 PM CST
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(Source: Craighead Electric Coop)
(Source: Craighead Electric Coop)
Terry Harkey (Source: KAIT-TV)
Terry Harkey (Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas linemen recently completed a mission to bring electricity to two remote villages in Guatemala.

Lineman Terry Harkey with Craighead Electric in Jonesboro had a hard time explaining how different things are in the Las Tortugas and San Jorge communities.

He said simple things that we use every day are hard to come by.

"We take a lot for granted, I mean, ice," Harkey said. "We went over there and no ice."

And that was just the smallest example.

Harkey said the two villages they worked in have never had electricity, that's 105 people that are too far away from the small local co-op to receive power.

"They didn't have enough money to make the power run to the village," Harkey said.

So, Harkey and the team built over seven miles of power line while they were there.

"We started at a point that had it, we took it that many miles and give it to a village that never had any," Harkey said.

Harkey said if it weren't for the help of the local co-op and the villagers, they wouldn't have finished.

The mission was about three weeks long and it was a first for Harkey.

Of course, missing family and friends wasn't easy.

"We were lucky to facetime them a little bit when the wifi was working," Harkey said. "But other than that yes it was tough."

But Harkey said in the end, it was all worthwhile.

"It was worth it because you saw at the end what it meant to that village to finally get electricity," Harkey said.

Harkey said they'll send another group of linemen in 2020, and he would like to go back, but he wants the other guys to get that chance as well.

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