El Fuego del Sol GeoTourism EcoVillage in the Dominican Republic

El Fuego del Sol GeoTourism EcoVillage in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic
Organization type: 
for profit
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

A Dominican Triple-Bottom-Line, limited liability corporation that combines geotourism with the manufacture, distribution and promotion of ecological technologies in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. EFdS provides ecological and social solutions, including technological advances, that work to improve lives while creating sustainable corporate profits. Three bottom lines: people, planet and profit.

About You
Organization:
El Fuego del Sol
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Kevin

Last Name

Adair

Country

, AL

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

Organization Name

El Fuego del Sol

Organization Phone

312 925-1626

Organization Address
Organization Country
How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, AL

Innovation
What makes your innovation unique?

Since the tragedy in Haiti on January 12, international attention has increased in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. El Fuego del Sol has been developing ecological and social solutions in the DR since 2005 and in Haiti since 2007. Unique to our vision is an ever-growing network of international NGOs, individuals and corporations, working together for regional development. Our main Dominican NGO partner is Grupo Jaragua (GJ) and through GJ we have connected with several additional NGOs including CROSE in Haiti. EFdS and GJ work together to distribute Sun Ovens, ovens that cook with only the thermal heat of the sun, to low income families on both sides of the Dominican / Haitian border. International groups and individuals donate the Sun Ovens that are distributed by JG and built in the EFdS factory creating Fair Trade jobs for Dominican workers. The families who receive the Sun Ovens also actively participate in the program. The recipients complete a solar cooking course which is taught by local community leaders so they learn how to cook with the Sun Ovens before they receive them. Part of the course includes the recipients cooking meals at the GJ community centers for the staff and volunteers. In addition to the solar-cooking course, recipients either pay a small amount to GJ in order to received the Sun Ovens, or for recipients in Haiti who do not have access to currency, volunteer hours are performed to earn a Sun Oven. Fathers of the families are encouraged to participate in the introduction process as well, including at GJ community events. Thus, the entire family feels invested in the new technology and is familiar with sun-cooked food, before they have a Sun Oven of their own. This model is also being expanded for the introduction of ecological building materials and lighting solutions through EFdS in the DR and Haiti.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

Starting in 2005, EFdS has delivered over 50 Sun Ovens that were donated by US citizens to individuals selected by Dominican NGOs, including the Higuey Rotary Club and Grupo Jaragua. Now an additional 100 Sun Ovens have been purchased for donation by European NGOs associated with Grupo Jaragua. In the Dominican border area, trees on protected lands are being cut down and smoked into charcoal for cooking fuel. The charcoal is then smuggled across the border into Haiti for distribution through out the extremely impoverished nation. Trees were already scarce in Haiti, and now following the earthquake tragedy, cooking fuel is in even greater demand. Each Sun Oven can provide for over 80% of a family’s cooking needs. Grupo Jaragua volunteer, Olga is a perfect example of a community leader who has adopted the Sun Oven solar cooking solution. She is now training others in solar cooking, both in the DR and Haiti on a weekly basis.
Olga has had a cake baking micro-business for many years. She was using the ovens at her church in Oviedo to back her cakes. However, she always needed to save up enough money for the ingredients and the propane required to fuel the ovens. Now through the efforts of EFdS and GJ, Olga leads the rest of the volunteers in cooking the main meal at the community center, then she uses the Sun Ovens to bake her cakes. The savings from not having to buy propane for her business dramatically increased her daily profits. Now, Olga has earned a Sun Oven of her own which she uses in addition to the community Sun Ovens in her business. EFdS and GJ are now working to replicate the success of Olga and the other community volunteers on both sides of the border with Haiti. Olga travels with GJ staff members to help train local community leaders in the additional villages in the DR and Haiti.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

Nearly all of the trees in Haiti have been cut down for use in cooking fuel. Trees in the DR are now being cut down faster than they can be replanted. The program has passed its pilot stage and is now in full operation. The program is entirely scalable as more and more community leaders and grass-roots organizations are brought in to assist in the introduction and adoption process.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?

In addition to the introduction of the ecological technologies themselves, including the Sun Ovens, EFdS is harnessing the international push for travelers to do beneficial work and make beneficial donation while they are visiting other countries. The Sun Oven Donation Program is in itself a draw for travelers looking to do good works while they are in the country. Travelers can visit El Fuego del Sol for one day and enjoy a traditional Dominican meal cooked in the Sun Oven. The event is accented with traditional Dominican music and a horse show of the Higüeyano Equestrian Mestizo and Paso Fino styles. Additionally, international travelers can spend an entire trip exploring the ecological and social development of the island. Trips are available through the Haitian earthquake effected area which feature our Oviedo Sun Oven distribution center. Trips are also available that explore the Dominican Fair Trade Chocolate Trail and also feature Sun Oven donations. Our business model is the combination of technology introduction and geotourism. As our ecological development work expands into the introduction of ecological building technologies, so will our geotourism destinations expand to visit our additional developmental locations. The challenge comes if people forget about the developmental needs of Haiti and the DR as other environmental disasters take center stage.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

The next three years will see a dramatic scaling up of the program. As more and more international, Dominican and Haitian NGOs, companies and individuals join our network. EFdS has hosted two geotourism trips in 2009 and 2010, and we expect at least three trips in 2011, with the addition of at least one additional trip per year after that. The distribution of the Sun Ovens will continue to increase as well. We have funding to distribute over 100 Sun Ovens in 2010. We anticipate funding for at least 200 Sun Ovens in 2011, and in the range of 500 Sun Ovens in 2012. These numbers can dramatically increase should a major funding source be located. So these should be considered conservative estimates. We also plan for strong response to our ecological building materials and ecological lighting solutions. The Dominican National Energy Commission has rated our lighting units as excellent potential energy-saving technology that they are now recommending to electrical contractors.

How many people will your project serve annually?

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?

If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

The DR government frequently makes technology allocations for community development. We are now in close communication with the DR government to encourage them to make more ecological choices in their developmental outlays. For example, the introduction of Sun Ovens rather than the propane stoves the government is currently supplying is a more sustainable and better ecological solution. We are working to encourage the government to consider our products and other ecological improvements.

Sustainability
What stage is your Social Enterprise in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your Social Enterprise

The nature of our project design is the promotion of networks to improve social and ecological conditions. We work with NGOs to help better achieve their missions. The key to success is the participation of international NGOs, our Dominican Triple-Bottom-Line company and local NGOs such as Grupo Jaragua.

Rise International
Faith in Place
Grupo Jaragua
Grupo Conacado
Global Exchange
Bethel UCC in Elmhurst, IL

Primary funding source is geotourists who attend voyages that we plan and coordinate.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

Tourists support our work with their travel dollars. All of our products and services are designed to break-even or make profit. We also provide business consulting and micro-lending on a value-added for-profit basis. We also raise livestock on the farm of our geotourism center.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Kevin Adair was working at four resorts in Punta Cana and was driven through the neighboring communities including Higuey. He realized that he couldn't just be there catering to rich people, he had to work to improve the conditions for everyone in the DR and Haiti. That's when Kevin conceptualized El Fuego del Sol.

I don't know why this video keeps getting rejected by your site:http://www.youtube.com/user/kevadair#p/a/u/1/oy02Hjb5Ows

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

Kevin Adair, Founder and President of El Fuego del Sol, has over 20 years experience in the tourism/service sector including event design coordination and management. Kevin has developed events for hotels, restaurants, resorts and cruise ships around the world including Jamaica, Germany, Mexico and thousands of events in the United States. He has produced created, developed, and presented corporate events and presentations for companies including Hyatt Hotels, the Hotel Allegro, Dolphin Cruise Lines, Chicago’s Mayors Office of Special Events, and Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Kevin’s corporate presentations have appeared on international television programs including NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America. Since 1993 Kevin has owned, developed, promoted and sold 11 real estate property projects in the United States. Kevin has also been working to improve environmental and social conditions throughout his life. Since 2005 Kevin has lived in the Dominican Republic working in the hotel and environment sectors. In late 2005 Kevin created the Dominican corporation, El Fuego del Sol, to actively work to improve the social and ecological environments in the DR. Kevin is now focused exclusively on developing and promoting the El Fuego del Sol property and project. Kevin graduated Cum Laude in Theater and Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University. Kevin is in the final stages of becoming a permanent resident of the DR.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another source, please provide the information

Sara Olsen at Xigi.net

randomness