Today’s Solutions: November 26, 2021

If you walk near Mexico City’s primary wholesale food market, Central Abasto de Ecatepec, you’re likely to run into 71-year-old Maximino Antonio Piedad, who’s often there demonstrating his homemade solar cooker built out of reused materials. His aim is to support people who have limited access to public services while helping reduce pollution at the same time.

Born and raised in Amatitla Santiago, a town in central Mexico that’s home to a small Indigenous community, Piedad didn’t attend school and didn’t speak Spanish until he was 20 years old. Nonetheless, he taught himself to build a fully functioning solar stove.

Piedad drew inspiration to make the cooker after he saw people building a stove powered by the sun with a mirror and a wheel. Seeking to perfect the idea and eager to share this environmentally-friendly invention with others, Piedad built his own version.

Instead of a mirror, however, his stove is made from a television receiver antenna placed 50 cm under the grill, responsible for reflecting the sunlight. The device concentrates enough heat under the stove to cook various foods, such as grains or beans, as well as heat water for coffee or tea.

With his eco-friendly device, Piedad hopes to inspire those in need to build their own solar stoves, improve their lives, and help them reduce pollution.

Image source: Radiovisa Guaymas

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