In 2009, Freddy Candia, Rosio Soliz, and a group of colleagues and friends felt the need to form their own Bolivian run solar oven and “rocket stove” organization. CECAM Bolivia, at this point was not receiving any national or international funding. So, naturally the organization was struggling to produce ovens and to maintain a staff. However, after some changes in the management, in which Freddy became director and the arrival of a group of English volunteers, who organized a fundraising event, things started to look up. From the money raised, CECAM Bolivia made its first 5 solar ovens. From this point the word started to spread about the work that CECAM Bolivia does and requests for solar ovens began to pour in. In celebration of this fundraiser, the annual “Solar Party” was born.
Volunteers- Sustainable Bolivia
In order to help with the increasing work load, CECAM Bolivia partnered with Sustainable Bolivia, an NGO that coordinates volunteers from all over the world. As of November, 2011, 27 volunteers from 11 countries have worked for CECAM Bolivia. Along with the work that the volunteers do with the solar ovens and rocket stoves, they have also developed projects to help the community in Cochabamba. These include the recycling project, which worked with incarcerated women making handbags from recycled materials, the compost project that taught women who work in the food industry how to compost their waste and sell the soil, and “Technology Culture” which is one of CECAM Bolivia’s longest lasting and most successful projects. This teaches Word, Excel y PowerPoint to children, teens, and women.
“Rocket Stove” Yan y Jakob
During the rainy season in the beginning of 2011, Jakob from Denmark and Freddy were working on an alternative to the solar oven, an efficient wood burning stove. They did a lot of research and came up with a unique design that was a combination of different “rocket stove” technologies.
When Jakob’s father Yan heard about the project, he decided to come and help his son. They rented out a metal workshop and successfully built the first “Rocket Stove Yan” that can boil 3 liters of water in 6 minutes only using 300 grams of firewood.
Project La Paz
In June 2011 CECAM Bolivia carried out its biggest project so far. A landslide destroyed the Pampahasi neighborhood in La Paz. A group of volunteers went to La Paz to deliver an extra large model of the “rocket stove Yan” to help the people that were affected. When they arrived, they saw that more help was needed. So they came back to Cochabamba and raised more money from their home countries to be able to finance 20 solar ovens. Click here to read the full story