Starting in Brazil

Posted 17 November 2018 by Will Cleaver.

In the background of the above photo you can see Cacoal city. I’m in Cacoal building a solar concentrator and food dehydrator for the Surui people that live in the jungle a few hours by car from Cacoal, State of Rondonia.

It’s been a week and a half since I arrived in Cacoal. The project is to introduce the indigenous Amazon Surui people to our solar technology, a solar concentrator and food dehydrator that I’m in the process of making. They plan to use them to speed up the process of dehydrating the babassu nut.

Cacoal is quite an industrial city with a population of around 80,000 people so it’s been easy to find materials to build with. We are working in partnership with Forest Trends and local Forest Trends employees Marcio, Carlos and Maria have been supporting me during this project; sourcing materials, communicating in their local network to find a metal workshop for me to use and connecting me with the leaders of the different Surui families that live in the jungle. They are in contact with about 25 Surui families that live in different villages near each other.

So far the build is going well. The weather is hovering between 30 to 35°C and the tropical clouds and rains visit once or twice a day, generally after sundown. The Surui people normally take 4 days to dehydrate the babassu nuts they gather from the jungle floor. The project is to see how much we can speed that process up. Stay tuned to find out!

View looking away from Cacoal, the jungle is in the foreground and in the distance behind the farmland.

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