About a year and a half ago, Michigan’s electric cooperatives sent 10 linemen to Buena Vista, Guatemala. They worked side-by-side with local residents to bring electricity to the remote, mountainous village. When work was completed on Nov. 12, 2015, the community celebrated together as electric lights came on for the very first time. This moment marked the beginning of new opportunities and a new future for the 54 families that call Buena Vista home.

Ingrid Hunsicker, NRECA International program manager, recently visited Buena Vista to see how life has changed with electricity.

Lights in the schoolyard and classrooms provide the children with a safe, bright place to learn. Processing corn is now easier and more efficient with electric corn mill grinders. Residents have access to better communication with radios and televisions. And, thanks to a new refrigerator, the local convenience store is able to offer cold drinks and meats. Scroll through the heartwarming slideshow to see what life is like in Buena Vista today.