Lineman Tanner Dreier
Iowa Falls lineman to bring electricity to rural Guatemalan village
Thursday | May 16, 2024

In June, Midland Power Lineman Tanner Dreier will join 13 other lineworkers from Iowa and Minnesota electric cooperatives, and embark on a 2,800-mile journey to improve the quality of life for a rural Guatemalan community
for generations.

The trip is part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) International Program, which has been coordinating electric co-op volunteers to electrify villages and communities in impoverished countries around the world  since 1962.

Dreier, who is a member of the Iowa Falls line crew, will join linemen from six others from Iowa cooperatives, including  Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative, East-Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative, Eastern Iowa Light & Power Cooperative, Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative, North West Rural Electric Cooperative, and Prairie Energy Cooperative.

They will work with seven linemen from Minnesota electric co-ops stringing power lines and wiring homes for electricity in the remote community of La Hortiga.

“Here in Iowa, we sometimes take having access to electricity for granted. For the residents of La Hortiga, our work will be lifechanging,” said Dreier. “I’m told the working conditions down there will be challenging, but I felt like this
is a rare opportunity to really help improve the quality of life for the village residents.”

The linemen will leave for Guatemala on June 5 and return home on June 21. The remote community is about an hour from San Marcos, situated in the mountains at about 10,000 feet of elevation. The team will build out about three miles of distribution line that will be connected to the local municipal power company, which will take over the service of the lines once completed. After framing pre-set poles and building out conductor, they will install wires and circuits in approximately 15 homes.

The linemen will also provide each household with a water filtration kit to help them access clean water.

This project was made possible by NRECA International, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, whose mission is to increase individual and community access to electricity in all parts of the world. NRECA started the International Program to bring prosperity to those less fortunate around the world. Since that time, the organization has powered the lives of more than 160 million people in 48 countries on the continents of Africa, South America, Central America, and Asia.

Teams assist with all stages of planning and executing electrification projects, promoting electric cooperative development and empowering communities around the world.

Members can follow the trip via the group's Facebook page.