Insulated Solar Box Ovens
Parabolic solar ovens cook too slowly to be of any use in Haiti, but insulated solar box ovens may be a plausible alternative.
OWNA's experience with solar ovens
When OceansWatch visited Haiti in 2011, Donna Lange (our Executive Director) brought materials to build parabolic solar ovens. She found, however, that the community in Il a Vache already had parabolic ovens... they were lying unused in a warehouse when she arrived. Donna built more ovens anyway, and taught the women how to use them, but we realized that the idea was not going to be well accepted by the community.
The women of Ile a Vache liked to cook quickly over an open flame, and in their own backyard. Staying true to their culinary traditions, and the comfort of familiarity, was more important to them than preserving wood.
A better solution
During the same trip, Donna met a seasoned mission
worker who had built solar ovens in Nicaragua. He
drew a simple line drawing of an insulated box oven,
capable of reaching 350 degrees. Instead of attempting
to replace stove-top cooking, these ovens could be
used to bake bread and other goods. We hope to
introduce them to communities in Il a Vache and Haiti,
and expect them to be well recieved.