2 out of 100 people in northern Central America are out of the electrical system. Every day, they must decide how much money they spend for fuel, candles, or firewood. Those who save buy electric generators or solar panels, but their electricity is conditioned. They don’t even have a switch to turn on a light bulb. 

2018 ~ 2019

In Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, energy is a privilege. Although governments have more resources to electrify communities without electricity, many families cannot afford this private service. A region where lack of energy is a problem marked by social conflicts and poverty, in which geography limits access to more than 4 million Central Americans.

Patuca is one of the municipalities with the least electricity in Honduras. With more than eighty villages without electricity, a new state hydroelectric plant in the area also does not guarantee its connection. In the country with the least electricity in Central America, contracts for renewable, unbuilt projects paint a scenario of energy speculation.


Guatemala electrified almost the entire country in twenty years, but funds are lacking for the last 8% of the population. Senahú is the second municipality with less electricity coverage, with more than 160 villages without electricity. Concepción Actelá is one of it and wants to be connected, but the disinformation of the neighbors collides with institutional indolence. The distributor is not obliged to give it electricity, the government has other priorities and the Senahú Municipality is unaware of the case.

Jicalapa is a municipality without hotels. It has a beach and mountains, but it hardly receives tourists. It has a population who lives on corn, beans and watermelon. It has the lowest electricity coverage in El Salvador: only 48% of its population has access to energy. This translates to 2,830 people without electricity in six villages scattered on steep slopes. Jicalapa is poor.

This article is part of the 'Retorno' project from the Guatemala based nonprofit journalism organization El Intercambio. It was funded by the Seattle International Foundation.