Starting in February we partnered with Lone Tree Institute to launch the Inkawasi eco-cooker project in Palo Solo – the community surrounding our new Cañada Honda Reserve. Neighboring forests are being massively deforested which exposes land to erosion, strong winds, and leads to flora & fauna loss. Many small land owners are selling their property to agribusinesses who are planting sun loving crops- dragon fruit and pineapple. They are cutting down the trees at an alarming rate. Women and men living in Palo Solo now have to walk kilometers to fetch wood for cooking meals. Branches and whole trees are being cut down faster than they are able to regenerate. The few remaining forests are disappearing rapidly.
Part of our plan for protecting the remaining forests in Palo Solo is to collaborate with families near Cañada Honda on how to sustainably harvest wood for fuel. We often find that locals know how to sustainably harvest fuel wood but lack the resources to do so. The Inkawasi stoves will reduce the amount of firewood.
Bismark and Yamilth, the project coordinators, visited 12 families interested in installing the stoves (bottom left photo). Families were asked to contribute materials for the floor and the roof and assist with building the stoves. Most people currently cook over an open flame fire while others use Coci-Nica eco-cookers (bottom center and right photo). Asociacion Tierra and La Mariposa support families that need help buying cement and roofing materials. Lone Tree Institute secured a grant to pay for labor, transportation and essential construction materials (cement blocks, nails, iron rods, etc.)
This project also helps families supplement their income. Bismark and Yamilth will be responsible for monitoring the use and functionality of the stoves (center bottom photo). Inkawasi stoves require exact measurements in order to work properly. We will hire local master masons to build the stoves. The inkawasi will be built with standard sized burners to fit house-hold pots. There is also some discussion about making additional larger burners. This allows women to cook larger batches of freshly prepared tortillas or nacatemales and sell their food in the street.