Notes from the Field: El Rapidito Clean Cookstove

by Lindsay Saperstone, International Communications Coordinator

Rapidito clean cookstove Nicaragua

We are always amazed by our local partner’s innovations in conservation, especially when it comes to clean cookstove design and construction. In Nicaragua, we partner with Proleña, an organization dedicated to protecting the local forests. One way they accomplish this is with fuel-efficient stoves, which greatly reduce fuelwood and charcoal consumption and indoor air pollution.

Rapidito clean cookstove
Leonardo shows the inside of the Rapidito cookstove

One of Proleña’s cheapest and most efficient cookstove models is a small charcoal stove known as the Rapidito. The stove sells for C$ 550.00- C$665.00 (approx. $25 USD). When the stove first came out, Proleña decided to have a naming contest and asked dozens of women to try the stove and then write down their name suggestions. Ironically, more than half of the attendees chose the same name!

“El Rapidito”, meaning “the quick one” in Spanish, reduces cook time and charcoal use by up to 50 percent. Proleña’s Technical Director, Leonardo Mayorga explains  that “while most people think of carbon stoves (charcoal) as only being good for beans and asado (a type of roast meat), the Rapidito’s built in temperature control means the stove can cook a large variety of foods that other charcoal stoves can’t accommodate.”

To learn more about TWP’s clean cookstove designs please visit our wesbite!

Notes from the Field: A New Season Begins in Nicaragua

by Sebastian Africano, International Director

Nicaragua tree nursery

A new season is beginning at Trees, Water & People’s three Nicaraguan tree nurseries.  The end of the year is when the nurseries are cleaned and prepared for the next season’s plantings.  We’ve bought most of our seed, most of our soil substrate, and staff have started to build the rows in which hundreds of thousands of trees will be planted.

In partnership with Proleña, TWP will grow our reforestation program in Nicaragua along three major lines in 2013.  One is producing trees for our network of Forest Replacement Associations and their farmers.  These farmers grow trees on their land to diversify their income through forest products like fruit, fuel, and in the longer term, lumber.

Nicaragua reforestationThe next line is growing trees for demonstration plots at the National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change Research, in La Paz Centro, Nicaragua.  We have plans in place for the creation of this new center and we are working with our partners to develop agroforestry models appropriate to the local climate, soils, and hydrology.

The third and most important, is finding ways to keep our supporters – both individual supporters and corporate partners – appraised of our progress throughout the year.  Global Giving is one great channel through which to do this, but our blog and website are other great sources of information that help us stay connected.

Thank you always for your kind support, and never hesitate to get in touch to see how you or people you know can get more involved in supporting TWP’s reforestation projects. You can reach me by email at

Happy holidays from all of us at TWP!

First Look! The National Center for Biomass Energy & Climate Change

National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change_Nicaragua
Click image to enlarge

We are working with our long-time NGO partner, Proleña, in Nicaragua, to establish the National Center for Biomass Energy & Climate Change near La Paz Centro, Nicaragua.

The Center will be an educational resource where communities can learn about managing forests, renewable energy, cleantech, and clean cookstoves. In addition to the core training, we will develop the Center as a global facility, where people from around the world will be empowered with the skills that will help them adapt to climate change in their region.

Features of the National Center for Biomass Energy & Climate Change:

  • Biomass Forest Plot
  • Classrooms for Trainings & Workshops
  • Clean Cookstoves & Fuel-Efficient Kilns
  • 2kW Photovoltaic System
  • Cleantech Products
  • Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Demos
Nicaragua Climate Change Center
Click image to enlarge

Eco-stove Study in Nicaragua

Here’s a report with lots of great pictures (for those who don’t speak Spanish) of several Nicaraguan communities where we will be doing the multi-year health study on how the Eco-stoves benefit local women. Partnering with us on this project are Colorado State University, PROLENA, and Casa de Mujer, a Nicaraguan NGO based in Granada.