Last March 8th, RECAM awarded OLADE the prize for "Best initiative for the community of the region-2017" for the rural electrification project benefiting 3 communities in Guatemala through the Micro Hydroelectric Power plant of "Batzchocolá." OLADE participated with the methodology implemented in several of its member Countries for the implementation of rural electrification projects.

The award has a special meaning as it was received at the International Women's Day. Within the methodology’s basic components it was considered the gender issues, which "Empowers" women to actively participate in all processes of rural electrification projects.

The methodology for rural electrification aims to propose viable energy solutions to communities that have no access to electricity with their own renewable energy alternatives in each locality, by strengthening decision-making processes of local and regional stakeholders that lead to reducing vulnerability in the sustainability of rural energy projects.

In the Central America and the Caribbean Sub-region, OLADE has implemented its methodology in the communities of Batzchocolá, Laguna de Batzchocolá and Visiquichum north of Guatemala, where it was possible to achieve the goals of rural electrification.

The methodology includes the active participation of the members of the beneficiary communities through the creation of a community enterprise, where all members are participants and form teams for the preparation and approval of the necessary regulations to allow proper operation of the proposed activities. Moreover, the involvement of companies and institutions nearby communities is attained through their Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

The energy project's sustainability is achieved through the implementation of productive projects for the use of electricity so the partners can generate revenues needed to pay for energy and to improve their standard of living.

It should be noted that the mechanisms for a more effective, efficient and a long-term sustainable resulting projects have been strengthened through the inclusion of social variables in the socioeconomic reality of the communities.

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