The road (and river) to Sarstun

Our field test of the NowLights is now truly underway and we thought that you might enjoy seeing the route that they must take to reach the Sarstun communities of Guatemala. From Guatemala City it is a 5 or 6 hour trip on paved roads to Puerto Barrios. That’s literally the end of the road, then they must go via boat to Livingston. After a change of boats, it’s a trip up the Rio Dulce to the jungle communities of the Sarstun region, centred around the Asociation Ak’ Tenamit’s residential school. Eventually, even river access runs out and the villages may be a couple of hours’ walk from the school. The NowLights will be carried by hand into these remote communities by members of APROSARSTUN, a community organization founded by graduates of the Ak’ Tenamit school. Read more about Ak’ Tenamit and APROSARSTUN by clicking on their logos below.

AAT logo
APROSARSTUN logo

In normal times, all the students at Ak’ Tenamit live at the school. Only the younger ones (grades 7 to 9) get to return home for 2 weeks every 3 months since their homes may be as much as 12 hours’ journey from the school. Watch this video to see how the school kids get around in this area; their school bus is a boat!

During COVID-19, up to 50% of the kids are required to learn from home. Pretty tough to do when even if they’re given a tablet there is no way to recharge it since most homes, and even entire villages, may be without electricity! And that’s where the NowLights come in. Not only are they a human powered lighting system, they also feature a USB charging port. No need for a diesel generator, just willing and able arms to pull the NowLight’s cord and charge the battery.