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.
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 Celestina Pérez de Almada Foundation 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.