Ecoleña Is Now Available in Guatemala
Tuesday night was the presentation of the project of Ecoleña at Rainbow Café by the foundations Fundación Progresar Guatemala and Legacy Foundation. The presentation consisted of four parts. First they presented the ecoleña (ecological firewood) and how a poor community, Sacapulas (Quiché) is empowered by its use. Second they talked about the technical aspects of ecoleña and the machines that are needed to produce the leña alternative. Last they demonstrated how ecoleña burns. Last, there was a question and answer session during the burning of the ecoleña briquettes demonstration. Follow the white rabbit to the news section at the Legacy Foundation for additional news bits.
In summary, ecoleña is an alternative firewood fuel produced by grinding leaves, grass, forest debris, or any other biodegrable debris, and then pressed the ground material into fuel briquettes. The Ecoleña fuel briquettes costs Q0.75 / US$0.09 for the briquettes made from only leaves and Q1.50 / $0.18 for the ecoleña briquettes which include charcoal content in the mixture. At the moment I believe ecoleña is a great firewood substitute in communities where leña (firewood) is expensive and hard to come by. Remember that I have mentioned before that a tarea of leña (perhaps twice as much as a rick of wood, which is is 8 feet long 4 feet tall and 3 feet thick I think) goes for about Q230 / $28 since most of this firewood is collected from the trimming of the trees that provide shadow to the coffee bushes. Of course, this is not the case in many places in Guatemala where leña can be expensive.
Anyhow, below you can watch a video clip of the demonstration of the ecoleña briquettes and a slide show of the event.
What’s your opinion on ecoleña based on the materials presented?