Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency affirmed the U.S. commitment to Guatemalan economic prosperity by awarding a $1.3 million technical assistance grant to the National Secretariat of Science and Technology (Senacyt) to promote rural internet connectivity and digital literacy. Senacyt selected California-based company New Sun Road to carry out the project, which will include the deployment of women-led solar-powered Digital Connectivity Centers (DCCs) in 10 unconnected locations with the goal of scaling the project to 3,000 sites across rural Guatemala.
“This project reflects USTDA’s commitment to help expand Guatemala’s digital access through partnerships with U.S. industry, and it will empower women to lead the delivery of vital services to their communities,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “USTDA’s ability to fund pilot projects offers our overseas partners a vital tool for evaluating the scalability of U.S. technology for their infrastructure priorities. This is a unique asset within the U.S. government.”
U.S. Embassy Guatemala Charge d’Affaires Patrick Ventrell congratulated participants at the launch, “What is good for Guatemala, is good for the United States. This project once again confirms U.S. commitment as Guatemala’s partner of choice.”
Under USTDA’s grant, New Sun Road will select 10 sites to deploy the DCCs, validate the business model for their replicability, and develop an implementation plan for scaling the deployment of DCCs to 3,000 rural communities. The DCCs will be powered by solar panels coupled with battery storage and microgrids, offering a resilient source of clean power in addition to local connectivity. New Sun Road will train women to manage the DCCs and educate their communities in digital skills.
Ana Chan, Secretary of Senacyt said, “Senacyt’s mission is to promote Guatemala’s development through science, technology, and innovation. USTDA and New Sun Road are like-minded partners, and we deeply appreciate our partnership with them. Together, we will make a difference in the lives of many thousands of Guatemalans.”
Adrienne Pierce, CEO of New Sun Road said, “New Sun Road is committed to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and increase access for remote communities in Guatemala. We thank USTDA for funding this assistance and are proud to contribute our own resources toward advancing and scaling the Digital Connectivity Centers.”
This activity advances the goals of USTDA’s Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure, which connects U.S. industry to major clean transportation and energy infrastructure projects in emerging economies. It also advances U.S. government priorities including the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, and Root Causes Strategy.
U.S. businesses interested in submitting proposals for the USTDA-funded technical assistance should visit www.ustda.gov/work/bid-on-an-overseas-project.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.
MEDIA INQUIRIES: Paul Marin | (703) 875-4357