This week: May 24, 2024 - Lasse Syversen - How can we change the world Leadership

Paul Arveson – The Solar Mothers of Oaxaca, Mexico

Posted on October 21st

Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, was the home of the Mixtec and Zapotec cultures.  They blessed the world with corn, chocolate, vanilla, tomatoes, squash and many kinds of chili peppers!   So today the women of Oaxaca know how to cook many delicious dishes.  However, the indigenous population in Oaxaca state lives in poverty.    We are preparing a proposal for Rotary to transform lives of women in Oaxaca using solar cookers.  These simple devices use no fuels, have no emissions, and require hardly any labor time.  This frees the women’s time for child care, education and employment.   This talk will show examples of how women are using solar cookers in Oaxaca. 

Paul has always had an interest in energy and environmental issues.  In his retirement, he decided to focus his efforts in solar cooking, which is not a crowded field.  He joined a small local nonprofit called Solar Household Energy, which has been developing solar cookers and managing field projects for over 20 years all around the world.  Paul’s work has focused on the more technical aspects of solar cooker testing and research.  This work has expanded his awareness of the needs of cooks, who are mostly women, to have better alternatives.   Paul joined his local Rotary Club in 2017 and currently serves to support the zoom meetings and videos of their weekly meetings.

Paul has a BS in Physics and an MS in and Computer Systems Management.   He served as a civilian employee in the Navy, where he conducted research projects in acoustics and oceanography.   Later he worked as a technology contractor for various government agencies.  In 1998 Paul co-founded a strategic management consulting firm. 

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