REMC lineman travels to Guatemala for Project Indiana

Posted on Jun 04 2023 in Orange County REMC
Michael Newlin
Orange County REMC’s Michael Newlin climbs a pole to install equipment while working as part of the Project Indiana team. The initiative brought electricity to 26 remote homes in the mountains of Guatemala this spring.

Orange County REMC Foreman Lineman Michael Newlin joined a crew of 13 other linemen from electric cooperatives in Indiana who traveled to Guatemala this spring as part of an international initiative to bring electricity to a developing area in Guatemala. 

“Project Indiana: Empowering Global Communities for a Better Tomorrow” has brought electricity to a part of the Central American country where none existed. The crew spent April 27 through May 13 extending electric infrastructure in the village of Peña Roja. This project brought electricity to 26 homes for the first time.

Newlin joined Orange County REMC in 2009 as an apprentice lineman and became a foreman lineman in 2020. 

This is the Indiana electric cooperatives’ fifth trip to Guatemala. In August 2012, 28 Hoosier linemen from 17 of Indiana’s electric cooperatives spent four weeks working across the mountainous terrain to bring electricity to 184 homes, a church and a school in three villages. In April 2015, 14 linemen battled extreme heat and the rugged land to bring electricity to 164 homes, a school and a church. In 2017, 14 linemen endured temperature extremes to power 68 homes, a school, a church and a health clinic.

On the last trip in 2019, 14 linemen brought electricity to nearly 90 homes, two churches and a school, and ensured that every home they wired for electricity had a properly vented, wood-burning cooking stove installed to replace the open fires villagers had used for years.

We are proud of Newlin for taking part in this project.