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Solar Solution For Haiti


In Haiti, most people cook with charcoal, but since the landscape has been decimated to produce this type of cooking fuel, it won’t be long before this resource will be unobtainable for most.  As a result, alternative ways of cooking are now being introduced and a United Methodist group from the Dakotas is making it happen.  Reed Galin reports.


Locator: Port au Prince, Haiti

Curious people have gathered on the corner of a busy street in Port au Prince, Haiti.

They are being introduced to a new way of cooking…using the sun.

Rick Jost / Director, Solar Oven Partners: “You can cook on the solar oven virtually any food you can cook by other means.”

Sue Holloway / Solar Oven Partners:  “It’s only limited by your imagination.”

It’s a solar oven…and so far over 1,000 have been distributed to Haitians interested in an alternative way to cook their daily meals.  Solar Oven Partners is made up primarily of volunteers from United Methodist churches in North and South Dakota. They come to Haiti several times a year to build, to educate, and to distribute ovens.

Gene Bethke / Solar Oven Volunteer: “The sun comes in, these things get hot.  You can boil water in them.”

Natsound: “See the steam rising off?”

The oven will only work on sunny days…something Haiti has plenty of.

Rick Jost (natsound): “So this has probably been cooking about 4 hours.”

Teaching locals to cook with the sun not only saves them money, but also addresses a pollution problem in Haiti – charcoal is the primary fuel used for cooking.

Rick Jost: “They can use charcoal, we aren’t asking them to abandon that, but to wisely use the sun when they can because it costs them nothing.”

Haitian man 1:  “It’s good, tastes good.”

Haitian man 2: “The rice tastes good too.”

Haitian man 3:  “I think I will get one of these.”

These kinds of testimonials keep Solar Oven Partners coming back again and again.

Haitian man 2:  “Delicious, I love it.”


Each solar oven costs about $100.00 to produce.  Haitians can purchase one for about $5.00 if they attend a three-day course, which educates them on the way to cook and maintain an oven.  You can find more information on this project by going to

And to learn more about the work of Solar Oven Partners, see United Methodist-supported program promotes solar cooking in Haiti.

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