Last Saturday, Bien de Mujer staff and 17 women from Granos Solidarios traveled all the way to Casa del Sol in Guanacaste (a 4-hour drive) to learn how to cook with solar panels. The women sang the whole drive there!
Casa del Sol is an eco-tourism project of Sol Verde—a cooperative formed with the support of Sol de Vida and the Central American Solar Energy Project—which represents 15 local community groups, presents the annual “Fiesta del Sol” event, and operates a small solar restaurant with “delicious home cooking.” Sol Verde is headquartered in the Casa del Sol, which houses a permanent demonstration facility for solar applications with emphasis on solar cookers.
Operating in the Santa Cruz and Nicoya counties of the Guanacaste region, Fundación Sol de Vida takes a holistic approach to expanding the use of renewable energy. The project not only promotes the use of solar power for cooking, but also seeks to build women’s capacity for other development activities through the process of constructing and using solar cookers. Therefore, our group of women was warmly welcomed by the Casa del Sol head of staff, Fatima, and several other local volunteers.
In addition to learning about solar cooking, our group participated in guided tour of their resource center. They learned about different models of solar cookers, about solar water pumps, were shown solar heaters and solar dryers, as well as photovoltaic panels for lighting—all the different ways solar energy can be used to make their lives easier and cheaper! They were guided through organic gardens; given priceless healthy growing, eating and cooking tips, and eventually, prepared their own meal, using a solar panel!
Casa de Sol even donated one solar panel cooking structure to Granos Solidarios, to be used at our women and children’s center in La Caprio. It was a beautiful day, on many levels, and we are grateful to the everyone at Sol de Vida and Casa del Sol who made this an informative, fun and unforgettable experience!