March 2014: Sweetest teacher in Paraguay makes solar candy - He was known as the “subversive teacher”, shaking the human rights world in Paraguay for the past fifty years. Nevertheless, in the past few months, Dr. Martin Almada officially won his title as the “sweetest teacher in Paraguay”. After planting the common use of solar ovens in Paraguayan schools to cook manioc for the children, the Fundación Celestina Pérez de Almada has recently gone a step further, by encouraging the use of the solar ovens already in place in the schools to cook… bananas! “Heated at very high temperatures in the solar ovens developed by our foundation, the bananas turn into candy that give socially challenged children some sugar, allowing them to keep a reasonable level of energy at school. But the fruit also keeps all its vitamins in the process, becoming a fundamental part of feeding these kids. We are really going from poverty to a certain self sufficiency, all through solar energy: it’s magic!” explains Martin Almada and his wife, Maria Stella Caceres, President of the foundation. In February 2013, the Spanish NGO “Manos Unidas” initiated its campaign “No Justice without equality”, and is now bringing its support to the Celestina Perez de Almada foundation for developing the use of solar energy in Paraguay.
February 2013: Dr. Martin Almada reports that Fundación Celestina Pérez de Almada has been working since 1990 to promote food safety and generate employment for rural youth by promoting clean solar energy in Paraguay. Thanks to help form Switzerland and the Netherlands, CPA continues to manufacture solar cookers, solar food dryers, and solar water heaters. CPA is using solar energy to dry herbs for pharmaceutical use and tropical fruits for snacks.
November 2012: CEDESOL Promotes Integrated Cooking Method - The Integrated Cooking Method (the combined use of solar, fuel efficient biomass and retained-heat cooking devices) is the cornerstone of David and Ruth Whitfield’s CEDEDSOL Ecological Stoves for Better Living project in Bolivia and Paraguay. This CEDESOL project includes local production, promotion, ducation, distribution, installation and maintenance of improved cooking devices. The project will replace traditional inefficient wood stoves in rural and urban areas, with efficient designs, which have been shown to reduce fuel-wood consumption above 60%. This program is designed to generate Voluntary (verified) Emissions eductions (VERS) by installing and monitoring more than 50,000 Ecological Stoves in Bolivia and Paraguay. VERS to reduce the cost of the stoves to users will be provided by the foundation, myclimate. Without carbon finance obtained with VERS in association with Foundation My Climate, CEDESOL’s beneficiaries would not be able to access the program and receive the cookers and education. CEDESOL also acknowledges the generous assistance of Kyoto Twist Society and Green Microfinance.
July 2010: The Vice Minister of Education, Héctor Valdez S. Ale, visited recently the headquarters of the Foundation PEREZ DE ALMADA to review the "Healthy Snacks with Solar Energy" program they have been promoting. It involves using solar driers to prepare local fruit snacks for the kids. The project to purchase the raw materials is possible through the efforts of Dr. Martin Almada and active community participation. The Vice Minister also toured the Center for Solar Energy (CEDESOL) to see a demonstration of solar cookers able to reach temperatures of 350-500°F.
February 2007: Paraguay became the first country in Latin America to offer a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Paraguay is following the lead of Spain, which has offered such a degree for five years. The degree is offered in response to global climate change and strains on global energy supplies. The 18-month course will cover themes such as sustainable development; energy management and efficiency; solar, wind and hydro energy applications; bio-fuels; project evaluation techniques; and economic management. The course contains both on-line and traditional classroom components. The course was organized by the UNESCO professorship in sustainability of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, the Universidad Nacional de Asunción (UNA), and several other universities in Spain, Paraguay, Nicaragua and Argentina. It is sponsored by the European Union's Urb-Al program, which links interested urban and rural organizations from various European and Latin American countries in decentralized cooperation networks. For more information about this course, contact Ing. Lisa Lugo (Universidad Católica “Nuestra Señora de la Asunción”) by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ing. Juan Carlos Silvero (UNA) by e-mail: email@example.com.
March 2007:Martin Almada reports that Paraguay has issued a postage stamp featuring a solar cooker. He feels the stamp is an advance in spreading awareness of solar cookers, and will contribute to environmental protection and energy conservation. He hopes that organizations elsewhere will follow this example and encourage creation of solar postage stamps in their own countries.
August 2006: Paraguay held its first international seminar on renewable energy in late March, drawing representatives not only from Paraguay but also from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Greece, and Spain. The five-day seminar was an activity of the European Union's Urb-Al] program, which links interested urban and rural organizations from various European and Latin American countries in decentralized cooperation networks. Efforts were made at the conference to form a network of universities in Paraguay to push for renewable energy. The universities were asked to consider developing a post-graduate course in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Contact:Martin Almada
March 2006: Paraguay continues to be an exciting place when it comes to transforming lives through solar energy. Responsible for a long chain of successes are two closely entwined organizations: la Fundación Celestina Pérez de Almada and the CEDESOL Foundation. Led by Professor Martin Almada and engineer Jean-Claude Pulfer, the twin organizations bring solar energy out of the laboratories and universities to people in need. Their projects provide enough solar equipment and training to transform whole villages, creating solar futures in several villages, and bringing those futures into the present, one village at a time. With support from the Swiss Embassy in Paraguay, the Almada-Pulfer team recently supplied solar cooking equipment to two schools for lunch preparation. Solar food dryers will provide out-of-season healthy fruit snacks to students. Dr. Almada was recently awarded a prestigious European Solar Prize] from the European Association for Renewable Energies (EUROSOLAR). The award honors his “commitment for the use of renewable energies in order to give people hope and find a way out of poverty.” You can find more information on this award and view a short video of Dr. Almada’s work here.
July 2005: The Fundación Celestina Pérez de Almada continues to expand its solar program and to gain new allies. In March, the foundation began cooperating with Essen, a company that manufactures cooking pots that work well with parabolic-type solar cookers. A demonstration was held in Asuncion where popular local foods were solar cooked. Ms. Graciela Stanchuk, an international manager for Essen, pledged that the company would pursue further solar cooking tests. The Foundation has also developed a solar energy training program for students and school personnel, to be funded in part by the Swiss Embassy in Paraguay, and has begun making large Scheffler reflectors, of which two have already been installed. A Scheffler dish with 4.5-square-meters of reflective surface is being used to cook fruits at a juice and jam factory in Clorinda, Argentina. A second dish with 8-square-meters of surface will power an oven that reaches 250°C.