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A Long Travel Day

After a long day of travel, the Project Indiana team safely arrived in Guatemala on Thursday, April 27. Their journey included two flights and an hours-long drive to get to their first stop for the night.

The Project Indiana team left Indianapolis for Guatemala City early Thursday morning. After a layover in Houston where there was a short flight delay, they and all of their luggage safely arrived in Guatemala City. The team connected with Project Indiana’s in-country liaison, Hugo, for a late lunch.

The team picked up the rental vehicles (seven pick-up trucks and an SUV) and started the drive to Huehuetenango (pronounced way-way-ten-an-go), Guatemala, where they were scheduled to spend the night in a hotel. The team got to experience some of the vastly different driving experiences of Guatemala – from the gridlock traffic of Guatemala City to more mountainous roads, both of which require a steady hand! Check out the April 27 SmugMug album for some videos.

The hotel in Huehuetenango was a welcome sight after the team’s nearly 17-hour travel day. The hotel provided an opportunity for a good night of sleep, a hot shower and a good breakfast. Although, we hear a local rooster provided a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call. They are also now in the Mountain Time Zone, which is two hours behind most of Indiana.

The team was originally scheduled to depart Friday morning for the project site – the village of Pena Roja. However, the team is going to spend another night in Huehuetenango to allow for the shipping container of supplies to meet them there. The container, which departed Indiana Feb. 1 with an estimated 27-day shipping time, has experienced some delays along the way. But, that all seems to have been resolved now and it’s in transit with the supplies the crew will need to bring electricity to these 26 families who’ve never had the modern convenience in their homes. It is expected to arrive in Huehue by Friday evening.

A few of the village residents will travel to Huehue and help the team unload the container and so they can move the supplies the rest of the way up the mountain together. Unfortunately, the mountain roads from this point forward will not sustain the weight and size of a semi-truck needed to move the full shipping container. Regardless of the size of the vehicle, it will be a slow drive.

The project team will also spend some time Friday purchasing groceries. The team will have a cook to prepare meals for them on the mountain, and these groceries will provide him with the necessary supplies for that task. The updated plan is for the team to travel Saturday to Pena Roja, which is about a four-hour drive from Huehue. There, they will get settled, unload the container, and assess the project. The village residents have already set the 26 poles and dug the anchor holes for the project. They’ve also wired the inside of each home, so when the project is complete the power will flow to their homes. The plan is for the team and residents to spend the first two days pulling wire to have it all in place and begin hanging it on poles from there.