Cochabamba, Bolivia

ETHOS has been traveling to the South American country of Bolivia since 2003, first working with Prolena in La Paz and now with a new partner, CECAM Bolivia, in 2014. CECAM has been constructing solar ovens and teaching rural Bolivians their benefits in some of the most underdeveloped areas near Cochabamba. Their focus is to build efficient designs, which can be manufactured at a low cost, but are also strong and durable. Recently, CECAM has started developing rocket stoves in hopes to provide better methods of cooking for their region in Bolivia.  


PROJECT HIGHLIGHT | ROCKET OVEN

Indoor air pollution from inefficient cookstoves results in 4.3 million premature deaths each year [1]. On top of that, 52% of deforestation in Africa occurs due to families gathering wood for cooking. Clean burning, efficient stoves have the ability to create safer environments for the 3 billion people around the world that use biomass fuel for cooking [2].

The 2014 ETHOS group spent their time designing and building a rocket oven, which could efficiently cook bread. CECAM had previously constructed a much smaller oven before the students arrived, but needed improvements to capacity and overall burning efficiency. With the adaptation of a design from Aprovecho Research Center, the students utilized two 55-gallon drums to successfully build a rocket oven. Initially, the oven reached an acceptable internal temperature for cooking bread of 401 degrees Fahrenheit, but the temperature was fluctuating and burning through a fair amount of wood. The students performed experiments and implemented improvements that allowed the oven to cook an oven-full of bread in approximately 15 minutes with minimal wood consumption. As a result, CECAM wants to build two more rocket ovens for the surrounding area due to the success achieved by the ETHOS oven.

Project Poster: ETHOS Rocket Oven

STUDENT EXPERIENCE

“Doing the ETHOS program was the best decision I have ever made, this experience has taught me a lot about who I am as a person and who I want to be. It was amazing to experience another culture so fully through those ten weeks, I learned so much from the people around me. The ETHOS program showed me what I want out of my career, and how much of the world I have yet to see.”

-Kathleen Sturtevant, 2014 ETHOS participant, Bolivia

“The culture and lifestyle in Bolivia allowed me to look at my lifestyle and priorities in the United States. It has made it easier to see things that I have not valued in the past which are now and always should have been important to me.”

- Brian Cain, 2014 ETHOS participant, Bolivia

References

[1] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs292/en/

[2] http://www.burndesignlab.org/index.php

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The ETHOS Center, Dr. Malcolm Daniels, Director

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