November 2012: At the invitation of Solar Cookers International, Rodrigo Carpio of Fundación Inti Uma Ecuador built a "Minimum Solar Box Cooker" and exhibited it for the first time on Earth Day in 1990. Thus began the "Green Decade" (1990-2000) in Ecuador. We took the path of the sun and created the foundation INTI UMA, Quechua words that evoke, for our actions, the illumination of the mind in the warmth of the heart. We attended the International Congress of solar cookers SCI sponsored and organized in Cuenca, Ecuador and the Second Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean in 1997. We have conducted 230 rural and community workshops to teach the making and using of solar cookers. We have taught students at the College Benigno Malo (approx. 5,000) and the University of Cuenca. We investigated appropriate designs equatorial sun oven Inti Churi (Son of the Sun), fruits and food dehydrator; Three in one hub - paraboloid - furnace, "Sunflower" hub; Oven José Sol, multi reflector, and recreation of the Solar CooKit. However, we have not developed self-sustaining projects due to lack of funding. In Ecuador LPG is subsidized, masking the real cost of cooking gas. The current petroleum bonanza in our country results in the inability of our government to understand the urgent need to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.
The History of Solar Cooking in Ecuador
In Ecuador, solar cooking has had support from the government, largely through
the involvement of representatives of a semi-official unit known as IECAIM, or the
Ecuadorian Research Institute for Women's Training. The group was organized to serve
as a focal point for the country in connection with the work of the United Nations agency
called the International Research and Training Institute for the Promotion of Women
(INSTRAW), a specialized agency focused on the issues of women. One of its areas of
interest was the use of new and renewable forms of energy, which encompassed solar
cooking and solar drying of foods. IECAIM took up that challenge and has been the most
active promoter of solar cooking in Ecuador, under the leadership of its Director, Fabiola Cuvi Ortiz. IECAIM has been active since 1986 in providing training courses for women
on building and using solar cookers. Workrooms were established for meetings and
training courses. Initially, 300 solar cookers were built, mostly women themselves, who
were also trained in the new mode of cooking. Both newspapers and television media
were used to publicize the efforts and results of this work.
After the pilot efforts proved to be very successful, promotional activity was
carried out in many places where women and girls congregate, schools, factories, and
women's groups. In a situation of unrest (a border dispute with Peru), cookers were
provided for the displaced families. In the course of this work, four small production
industries have been started, building cookers to sell to others, with work done by
women. In total, nearly 1,000 cookers have been disseminated in Ecuador. The Institute
has also published two books, one on solar oven construction, and the other on cooking.