The Trip of a Lifetime

Mike TeegardenIn March, I traveled with a team of Oregon lineworkers to Guatemala to document its efforts bringing electricity to the small rural village of Ventura.

There isn’t enough space here to share my experiences, but to see some of what the crew encountered on the trip you can visit the Oregon Empowers website.

I want to thank all the lineworkers who took time away from their jobs and families to bring life-changing electricity to these beautiful Guatemalan families. Thanks also go to the electric utilities that donated money and staff time. The work in Guatemala will make a profound difference in the daily lives of these humble families.

Each of the 30 homes received 4 lights and 2 outlets. Before electricity, families prepared their daily food—often tortillas and black beans—by cooking on indoor wood stoves. The smoke often causes respiratory issues. The children had no lights in the homes to make reading and schoolwork possible at night.

It is not unusual for young girls to leave school by second or third grade to help the family with daily chores. They can get fresh water only one day a week.

Children in GuatemalaElectricity, something we all take for granted, is now a marvelous gift for the families in Ventura. I am told the cost of the electricity is far less than what they typically spend on candles, kerosene and firewood. Electricity will allow them to earn more to support their families.

Closer to home, I hope you check out the story on page 12 about the fastest-growing sport in the country: pickleball. I play several times a week and love the social aspect of the game. I have made so many new friends. I hope you will be inspired to give it a try.

We have a story about an online group called Handy Women. They have a Facebook page dedicated to helping women who enjoy fixing things and tackling projects.

Mike Teegarden
Editorial Director