Last updated: March 3, 2014
News and recent developments
- 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 of 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.
- 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.
- See Martin Almada.