Duration: 5 minutes 39 seconds
On January 9th, 3 days before the earthquake in Haiti, AIDG-Guatemala hosted an event with local community members, family, and friends to congratulate the solar energy start-up Quetsol for winning GuateVerde 2009 and to welcome them into our Business Incubation Program.
As many of our hearts are focused on Haiti right now due to the overwhelming magnitude of the catastrophe there, we also have to remember that many developing countries are highly vulnerable to natural disaster.
Water, energy, food and health supplies can be virtually shut off from resources whose provisions were already scarce. This lack of disaster resiliency motivates AIDG to push forward in its mission to support green businesses that can respond to needs in countries such as Haiti and Guatemala who are more than familiar with the impact an earthquake, hurricane, or landslide can have on their communities.
Guatemalaâ€™s newest SGB that will be providing the very communities most damaged by Hurricane Stan (near Lake AtitlÃ¡n) with basic energy needs using simple and affordable photovoltaic technologies.
In watching Guatemala rebuild itself after 2005â€™s Hurricane Stan, AIDG witnessed many struggles and triumphs. Although almost 5 years later there is still evidence of the tragedy that occurred, the signs of progress and innovation are everywhere. AIDG-Guatemalaâ€™s business plan competition is a mere glimpse of this picture, but it demonstrates that for communities hit by natural disaster it is not only about survival; restoration and opportunities for development are significant factors in the healing process.
As Quetsol or Haitiâ€™s own Enersa or Shelter2Home prove, there is great promise in investors supporting small and growing green technology businesses in developing countries. These businesses revive the local economy while bringing sustainable, environmentally sound solutions to communities looking to thrive, not merely survive.
During this event economics and business expert Lic. Juan Manuel Palacios spoke on why supporting green businesses in Guatemala is important. Commending Quetsol for its determination, Lic. Palacios commented that the business that will make great environmental and social impact on a country looking forward after years of misfortune.