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Solar Depot Supports Re-building of Hospitalito Atitlán in Guatemala
July 24, 2010
Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala (July 24th, 2010) - Solar Depot, a leading solar system distributor based in Petaluma, California, has donated photovoltaic panels, charge controllers, cables and batteries to set up an outdoor security lighting solution for a critically needed hospital in Guatemala.

Hospitalito Atitlán (HA) is a small private non-profit hospital serving a population of 43,000 Tz'utujil Maya on the southern shore of beautiful Lake Atitlán in the highlands of Guatemala. Local physicians, nursing, and administrative staff work closely in collaboration with volunteer medical personnel from around the world to provide a comprehensive scope of care, including the only 24/7 emergency and surgical obstetrical care within a 2-hour radius.

When the non-profit HA originally opened it was the first hospital to serve the Maya community of Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala in more than 12 years. Six months later the devastating mudslides of Tropical Storm Stan forced relocation. In 2007 construction began on a permanent hospital.

More than 60 percent of the patients speak only Tz'utujil, the local Mayan dialect. HA staff translates Tz'tujil to Spanish for medical volunteers. HA has gone to great lengths to make services affordable to everyone. Social workers are available to evaluate the resources of patients and their families and provide up to a 100% discount for those with limited resources.

Health problems in the Atitlán area are those that usually affect people in a poverty-stricken area. Childhood diseases include significant respiratory and diarrheal illnesses, as well as the chronic effects of malnutrition. Obstetrical issues are often complex, with high levels of pre-eclampsia plus other social issues that impact both mothers and babies. Diabetes, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by open cook fires in the home are issues that affect the adult population. Trauma and substance abuse are also frequently seen.

As shown in the photo, Dr. Juan Manuel Chuc, Medical Director of HA (right), and Mrs. Lyn Dickey (center), HA’s Financial Comptroller, were very happy to receive Solar Depot’s donation, which will make it possible to continue their efforts in rebuilding the hospital. Marty Yudice (left), who joined Solar Depot in 2009 and has more than three years experience as a solar project manager, worked with a local electrician in July to design a solar-powered outdoor lighting system. The construction and administration team will benefit tremendously from Solar Depot’s contribution.

Marty’s family and community have been involved with the people of Santiago Atitlán for more than 12 years. On average, they help collect and send to the community each year two 40-foot containers of donated construction materials, medical equipment, school supplies, etc. Solar Depot looks forward to supporting additional collaboration with the Hospitalito in the future.

Solar Depot, a subsidiary of ITOCHU International Inc., is a wholesale distributor and systems integrator of solar electric and solar thermal systems. For over 30 years, Solar Depot has been designing and supplying solar energy systems for residential, commercial, and industrial applications, making Solar Depot among the largest and most experienced solar integrators in the United States.

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