Project Ohio 2024-2025

Project Ohio

Project Ohio 2024 is set and has now become Project Ohio 2025. The project will be held in San Marcos, Zacapa, Guatemala January 7-24, 2025. The date might be slightly modified, but those are the dates held for Ohio in Guatemala. We will begin building the team with last year’s roster that was never used. GM/CEOs of participants will be welcome to attend the inauguration currently scheduled for January 22, 2025. Bill Barnhart, CEO, Hancock-Wood, Kyle Hoffman, Manager, COLT, and Dwight Miller, Director ST&LP, OEC went on a preliminary planning trip in November 2023 and here are some quick rough notes from that trip for which Dwight will be creating a calendar:


  1. It was a quick 3-day trip since the village is closer to Guatemala City. It was about a 5-hour journey to the hotel and then another 30-minute ride to the village.
  2. We did not meet with the village leaders, per se. However, one of the leaders from an aggregate of villages was there and led us around the village and provided information for us.
  3. Cerro Grande is a very poor village and there were no nicer homes like we had seen in each of the other villages we have previously electrified.
  4. The electric provider is EEMZA Empressa Electrica De Zacapa – another rural municipality like EMRE. This would be the second project that they have done with NRECA International – the previous with Texas just a couple of months ago.
  5. The team would need to stay down the mountain in Zacapa in the same hotel that we stayed at on our planning trip. The hotel will provide a good place for some team comradery and does have AC. All three meals would be taken care of through the hotel. 
  6. We were originally told that there would be 45 connections. However, that number has grown to an estimated 60. They think more would sign up, we would hit a few more small buildings, and more homes could be built prior to our arrival like we’ve seen in past projects.
  7. There are about 120 families in the village. Multiple families reside in the same mud hut or whatever you’d call their dwellings.
  8. There are about 145 children in the village.
  9. Many of the homes are very close to one another – the tightest village we have done.
  10. Their school is well-taken care of, so what little they do have, it looks like they take good care of. It’s the first time we have seen three different school buildings all together, but what really makes this one different is the open classrooms that the climate allows for.
  11. The climate is hot year-round. The time of year that we do this project will be important, especially to miss the rainy season – see next point.
  12. The project will absolutely need to be done in the dry season. Furthermore, it will need to be near the end of the dry season so that the municipal can set the poles with the villagers prior to our arrival.
  13. The project is mountainous and the road going up the mountain very challenging. However, the village is only at 3,000 feet, so it will still be very hot.
  14. This might be the toughest project we’ve done to date due to the fact that there is no way to get vehicles into most areas of the village. However, the men in the village will be available to help us carry the tools and materials to the poles and homes.
  15. The project will consist of a challenging primary backbone that extends the line along the mountainous road before getting into the village. There are only one or two homes along the way to the village. In total, there will be about 60 poles with many more anchors than poles – there are no A1s here. Those anchors would not be put in before our arrival so that they end up in the right spot. My guess is about 60-70 anchors.
  16. Many trees will be required to be cut down for the project – both along the main line as well as in the village.
  17. The project is 7.6 single-phase wye and is a boon because it will make getting materials much less challenging. It has historically been difficult to get materials and transformers compatible with 19.9/34.5kV. This opens up options for purchase of transformers if necessary since the City of Westerville and AEP Columbus also utilize this same 7.6/13.2kV wye system.
  18. We were told that the municipality does not have near the manpower that EMRE has and that they provided little to no help to the Texas Region 7 crew that did the recent electrification in their territory.
  19. We will also not have students to wire up homes, but we have been told that we will get help from the men in the village. 
  20. There are ranchers in the area that have trying to bully the local villagers and telling them what they are and are not allowed to do – they don’t want them to receive electrical service. However, the law is on the side of the village. With that said, some time is going to be needed to work through these legal issues.
  21. One of the guys from Texas got bit by a spider on their recent project and ended up being evacuated to Texas. I think Ingrid said that he is still in the hospital. We’ll have to be aware of this situation and take special precautions. The bugs are kind of bad in the village. I received several (mosquito?) bites, but not sure if I got them in the village or elsewhere. 
  22. Everything that was discussed leads us to a January 2025 construction date. Everyone agreed that the date works and will provide adequate prep time.
  23. The project is going to require a lot of manpower from Ohio. Kyle and I agreed that a team of 20 workers with one non-working leader would be appropriate. 
  24. The agreed-upon date between all parties is January 7-24, 2025 with an inauguration date of January 22 (currently confirming this date with Ingrid).
Article Categories