Mobisun mobile solar panels in Se’Balam Guatemala

Mobisun in Se’Balam to hand over portable solar panels and powerbanks to 21 families.

Today Monday, 6-2, 21 families are expecting us in Se’Balam because they saved up for a Mobisun and we brought it from the Netherlands. A solar panel with power bank to which they can connect a lamp and charge their phone through a usb cable. For them, a life-changing experience.

We have breakfast in our familiar spot, convenient because the road up the hill is right by our breakfast spot in La Tinta. This time Mario Rolando and Samuel also joined us for breakfast. I choose the Delicious panqueques with fruit and honey. Mmmmmm. We can get back on track.

It’s a bumpy road uphill full of potholes, large stones and sometimes mud gullies. But also beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains and occasionally I looked out of my window into a depth. We could so join the program: the most dangerous roads in the world. Especially when we encounter the occasional oncoming vehicle; a truck loaded with Maya which serves as public transportation here.

Mobisun in Se'Balam

We approach Se’balam after a good 40 minutes and the reception committee is already waiting. Some villagers are helping the 4wd which is having a very hard time and is in danger of sliding away while we stand in the back of the bucket and try to hold our ground. Pff well a job and especially now that the sun is showing up and temperatures are rising fast. More and more people joined us and …yes…again a whole welcoming committee, with flags, drums and dozens of men, women and children welcoming us with balloons.

So this will be party day number three, we have come to realize, even though we really only wanted to go to this village to award the Mobisuns. Finally, through deep worn muddy tire tracks, we reach the village. Wow, what a reception here again. In front of us, a little shaky stage was made with a large tarpaulin for shade. The program can begin. Behind us a banner reading: welcome to the third anniversary of the water project. Three years ago we were here on Valentine’s Day for the inauguration. Se’balam is my favorite village. The location and the road to it is beautiful and the people are very united. During the formal activities, as usual, both national anthems were played. Jan now knows the Guatemalan national anthem almost by heart. What was irritating was that he was tapping his feet to the beat, which made our whole stage move along.

Mobisun in Se'Balam

After further words of welcome, a brief word from myself and from Ana, we come to the point for which we are here: the presentation of the Mobisuns. 21 families have indicated that they are happy to pay 250q for the solar panels. Don Juan Tzub has had a panel in his home for several months, and he says it has changed his life. As a result, people are already somewhat familiar with this phenomenon. For them, 250q (about 27€) is a lot of money, but the cost is recouped in about six months. Mobisun sponsors us because we only have to pay the cost price. The Mobisuns with lamps and batteries are displayed on the table, and one by one I call the names of the people who ordered one. Ana and Wieke take the money and Pieter and Jan hand out the mobisuns. It runs pretty smoothly. 2 people declined anyway but other interested people soon came. Thus, we handed out 21. Ana indicated that if more people wanted one they could submit it to Mario Rolando, however subject to the possibility of sending them( we are going to investigate) soon he had a list of 14 names.

Jan explained a little later how the connection to the battery worked and today the gods were kind to us as the sun was shining brightly. After this, we had our lunch; many women had been working hard making macaroni, beef, cucumber and bean gruel. For the children, we had kilos of candy with us ( oh for this one time). I left the organization to Cesar, who is very good at that, to avoid being underfoot again with my handout candy. He managed to get the little ones to line up and everyone neatly waited his/her turn. Fortunately, we had enough. Bought at the last minute in La Tinta.

We said goodbye again; our pool beckoned. Ana stopped briefly at a bank because she had a lot of cash she wanted to get rid of. Meanwhile, in the car-with closed blinded windows, so bloody hot-we counted all the money we had received from the Mobisun mobile solar panels. Altogether over 5,000q ! Roberto thought he should guide Wieke and me across the road to the bank. Ana was just finishing up, so we were able to hand her the counted money and she could deposit it into Adicay’s account with confidence. After this we quickly proceeded to our hotel in Teleman after which we had a nice swim, a glass of rum and talked about this day. Tonight we are going “strange” as far as the restaurant is concerned. After three days of excellent food at El Ceiba, we venture the gamble for a new restaurant. To be continued.

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