Habersham EMC linemen head to Guatemala

Posted: September 6, 2023
Jed Clark, left, and Isaac Wall prepare to depart for Guatemala.

Isaac Wall and Jed Clark are two Habersham EMC linemen who are taking their talents global for an amazing cause. The pair have worked through all conditions to keep the lights on in Northeast Georgia, and now they will take on a new adventure by lighting up villages in Guatemala. The two HEMC linemen will join other linemen from Greystone Power, Cobb EMC, Walton EMC, Habersham EMC, Coweta-Fayette EMC, and Jackson EMC for a 17-day trip building lines in the north-central part of Guatemala for the village of Sesaltul.

“What we consider a basic amenity – electricity – is something they’ve not had,” says lineman Jed Clark. “It will improve their lives, their education, their businesses, their ability to be more productive – just everything.”

The Sesaltul Electrification Project is sponsored by the NRECA International Fund. Since 1962, NRECA International has empowered more than 160 million people worldwide to improve their quality of life by providing them access to safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.

“I wanted to go because I like making a difference for people,” says Isaac Wall. “I think it will be an eye-opening experience and remind me of how fortunate we are to have the amenities we have.”

The Sesaltul Electrification Project will be in the Alta Verapez area, which has a population of approximately 760,000. The Sesaltul Project will provide power to 90 households in the region. While linemen here are used to the modern conveniences and equipment, such as bucket trucks, this trip will bring them back to their roots as they climb and set power poles by hand.

“It’s going to be amazing to stand back when we’re done and the switch is flipped to see lights in homes where there have been none,” says Clark. “Just to think about the fact that they are going from nothing to suddenly having a couple of light bulbs, or an outlet in their homes is a huge deal. We’re not talking about washers, dryers, televisions – just a light bulb and a plug.”