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Discover CEDESOL

Logo CEDESOLCEDESOL (the Center for Development with Solar Energy) was incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 2003 in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Prior to its incorporation, the founders gained expertise in solar and biomass technology by designing, building and promoting ecological cooking systems. The foundation was established because the founders believe passionately in the transference of practical knowledge and technology from the experts to the people.

CEDESOL is committed to empowering the disempowered.

Huasa Rancho communityIts mission is to transform lives and protect the environment by equipping people with appropriate technology and education. All of CEDESOL activities are based on three key foundations: participatory education, renewable energy and social and economic justice.

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Bolivia is one of the poorest countries and has the highest infant mortality rate in South America, 67 deaths per 1,000 according to UNICEF. The World Health Organization estimates that indoor air pollution caused by open pit cooking fires ranks fourth as a health risk factor in developing countries. Indeed, nearly one million families use wood as a cooking fuel in rural and urban Bolivia, with biomass accounting for approximately 90% of household energy use in rural areas. Moreover, the need for wood as a cooking fuel is a contributory factor in deforestation.

CEDESOL provides an alternative to cooking sources that pollute, degrade the natural environment and cause damage to health. Through the use of solar cookers, the problems associated with open pit fires are eliminated; no fuel is required and no pollution is produced.

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CEDESOL works in collaboration with the small Bolivian company Sobre la Roca who produce both solar cookers and high efficiency biomass stoves.

Solar cookers are wooden boxes with one or more reflective covers and an inclined double glazed window on hinges. Easy to build with inexpensive materials, they can reach temperatures between 120°c and 160°c, which is sufficient for cooking nearly all of the foods consumed in Bolivia.

The rocket stove is a popular alternative to the solar cooker as it requires no sun to function. This highly efficient wood burning stove requires only 25-30% of the fuel consumed by a standard stove, and its construction has been designed to substantially reduce the harmful pollution normally emitted from an open fire.

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Since its inception, CEDESOL has worked in cooperation with  Sobre la Roca and other organizations to improve the design and the efficiency of the ecological cookers and develop participatory training and education. CEDESOL also collaborates with financial institutions and like-minded organizations to create micro enterprises, providing affordable ways for people to acquire the stoves. An important part of the process is training people how to construct and maintain ecological systems. Becoming owners of the technology empowers people and reduces social and economic barriers, improving quality of life and creating a brighter future.

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By supporting us, you too can act to improve both the quality of life of Bolivian people and to combat climate change. There are different ways you can help: making a donation, subsiding us if you are a grantmaker, volunteering, or growing our community by subscribing to the newsletters and talking about CEDESOL.

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Newsletter: New beginnings in Huasa Rancho

On Saturday, February 12th, 9 CEDESOL staff members traveled to the community of Hausa Rancho to deliver 30 solar cookers to the participants of a current Project sponsored by the Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society. Hausa Rancho is located 90 minutes outside the city of Cochabamba, and as it receives an ample amount of sunlight daily it is a prime location to utilize the solar cookers to their full capacity. The Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society subsidized the cost of the solar cookers for this project, an enormous benefit for the low-income recipients. Read more...

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Picture galleries

Cookers Demonstrations Trainings

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Here Comes the Sun: Options for Using Solar Cookers in Developing Countries is a pdf published by GTZ that investigates the validity of solar cookers and improved wood rocket stoves in developing countries and documents their success, using CEDESOL´s successful dissemination of these stoves as one example.

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