Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative linemen, David Baskin and Andrew Harris, volunteered in Costa Rica for two weeks in July to construct the primary and secondary distribution system lines that will benefit five families. They, along with two linemen from Cobb EMC and two from Coweta Fayette EMC assisted the Coopeguanacaste Electric Cooperative in Santa Ana de Nicoya, Costa Rica.
The project was coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) International, an outreach program that provides people in developing countries with access to safe, reliable and affordable electricity. This trip is one of many where Carroll EMC has traveled abroad to volunteer with NRECA International, including a previous trip to Costa Rica in 2012.
“As a Co-op, we strive to serve our Members and others by putting into action the cooperative principle of Concern for Community,” said Tim Martin, CEO of Carroll EMC. “Sometimes the communities we serve are global. We are proud to have employees that are able and willing to share their knowledge and passion for their work with those in need.”
The project not only fortified the economic development of the families of the benefited community, but it also contributed to the access of basic services such as health, education, security and water.
“Parts of the trip were heart-wrenching,” said David Baskin, Carroll EMC Journeyman. “There were families that didn’t have anything and had never seen power before.”
There were many challenges that EMC crews faced including the climate and the language barrier, but one of the biggest challenges was the lack of equipment, technology and safety training.
“After being there, it makes me thankful for our safety program,” said Andrew Harris, Carroll EMC Apprentice Lineman. “It was one of the best experiences someone could have because of the diversity. It makes you thankful for what you have because you’ve seen the other side.”
Carroll EMC is a Member-owned cooperative providing electricity to approximately 50,000 homes and businesses. The co-op serves Members in Carroll, Haralson, Heard, Paulding, Polk and Troup counties. For more information visit the cooperative’s website at carrollemc.com or follow Carroll EMC on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.