Ministry of Mines and Energy. Bogota D.C. November 24th, 2017. The married couple consisting of Jose Guzman and Luz Mary Benavidez used to hear each other at night, because they could not see themselves. "It was either her or listening to the radio until 10 PM", Jose said, who now shares his new television set with a neighbor that purchased a refrigerator: they are exchanging the "services" of their electrical appliances as each of them completes their tasks. One year ago, they were able to receive "the current" for the first time in their rural settlement of Putumayo. And life was never the same.
Luz Mary feels emotional while recalling how she manually prepared the fruit, using a plastic strainer, in order to make juice for their small children. "It was almost always guayaba, because it is soft." Now, their blender makes the sounds of sorbet, which is best enjoyed while cold.
"The first day, when we obtained it, we woke up with the lights turned on," Guzman said. Just as Colombia woke up on November 24th, of 2016 when peace was lit up.
For the Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata, this is the real legacy of his cabinet position: providing light to peace during the year that has just been commemorated.
"Our greatest goal is to provide electricity to over 173,000 new users between 2014 and 2018. As of today, we have almost 136,000 beneficiaries. But the most important detail is how these new users include over 29,000 Colombians who live in areas that were affected by the conflict," Minister Arce stated.
And he added that the 62 municipalities located in post-conflict areas throughout 20 departments are enjoying energy in their homes for the first time.
"But in addition to improving the quality of life of thousands of Colombian families, we are also committed to the increasing use of renewable energies throughout the country. Within post-conflict areas, we have brought energy solutions using photovoltaic-based renewable energy sources for almost 12,700 users: this is another sign of how the energy sector is key for the social and economic development of the country," the Minister pointed out.