Solar ovens are changing the lives of people in the Dominican Republic. Here's an excerpt:
“The rice is done!” someone proclaimed from the chapel courtyard.
A second later, another person yelled the same phrase in Spanish.
That’s when everyone came running.
Women jumped out of their plastic chairs in the shade. Children sprinted from across the courtyard to be the first to see the pot of rice taken out of a solar oven.
They crowded around the oven where the rice had cooked while sitting in the sun for a few hours. The demonstration was part of a solar oven workshop at the Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana chapel here in Villa Laberacion, in the Dominican Republic.
Reyna Esthel was one of the women vying to taste the rice. She attended the workshop after she heard that using a solar oven could help save her money.
“Because of the expenses of gas, it’s cheaper to use the solar ovens and using natural energy from the sun,” Esthel said in Spanish through a translator.
A small number of communities in the Dominican Republic are buying solar ovens to cook their meals, avoiding cooking with gas stoves or wood that present financial and health problems.