A Message From Our President
Have you eaten recently? Taken a breath? Some actions are so basic that we can overlook them as core ingredients of the human experience. Across continents, people are eating food, breathing air.
Cooking is culture, and fuel has long been fire. The food and energy systems that enable cooking are nearly as varied as families’ recipes. In Haiti, more than 90% of meals are cooked over firewood or charcoal. Those smoky cooking fires have environmental, health, and quality of life consequences. Soot from the fires is a climate warmer. Breathing smoke harms the lungs of those in the kitchen. Fetching or buying fuel and tending fires takes time and care. For these reasons, EarthSpark is thrilled to be working on a holistic approach to cooking and electricity access (more on that below.)
Leading into Thanksgiving, I am grateful for all that remains possible, for all that feels urgent in an enabling way. Our Tiburon grid is still locked in pre-launch regulatory questions. The climate crisis advances. And yet, there’s still so much possibility and so much good work underway.
What if we all turned to clean energy systems for all of our energy needs? What if tiny towns in rural Haiti could prove to us that is possible?
Thank you for your thoughtfulness in engaging with us in this work, and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Welcoming the Giving Season
In September we announced our partnership with MECS to launch a landmark electric cooking pilot and a short documentary companion piece. Equipment assembly has commenced, and we have begun crowdfunding for the visual series with enthusiastic support from the Les Anglais diaspora community.
With GivingTuesday approaching next week, we hope you’ll consider supporting our work to eliminate harmful charcoal and wood-based cooking from Haitian homes through innovating electric cooking. We gratefully ask that you consider including EarthSpark International in your charitable giving this year.
Please be sure to follow us on Facebook or find us on GlobalGiving to make the most of donation matching this GivingTuesday!
Our sincere thanks to our many kind and generous supporters throughout 2019 so far.
Understanding Resilience in Haiti's Unrest
Energy resilience reaches into the very heart of communities, economies, and politics. Haiti’s increasingly beleaguered energy sector is both symptom and cause to Haiti’s current unrest. Here's a brief energy lens background on the nationwide protests you may have seen in the headlines:
Some businesses are closing their doors, access to essential services are limited; farmers and traders are unable to move their food to market across roadblocks, and there is deep humanitarian concern for the most vulnerable
Due to fuel shortages, even private generators have frequently sputtered to a halt in recent months. Extended blackouts have become even more the norm, and the government is now clashing with private central grid operators to reform the central grid. Meanwhile, Les Anglais remains relatively untouched while other rural communities feel the impacts of burgeoning energy scarcity. The Les Anglais power remains on 24/7. Businesses and schools are open. Rebuffing protests in the south, the Les Anglais community is a shining example of how decentralized, sustainable energy infrastructure helps build resilient homes, businesses, and towns.
Les Anglais businesses are able to keep their doors and the lights on despite unrest across large parts of the country.
Amidst this national crisis, we continue our work to enable more microgrids in Haiti. We are reminded that scaling microgrids is not merely an infrastructure project, it is also an opportunity to scale locally resilient governance, climate solutions, and economic activity. Climate resilience is not just a Haitian problem, it is a human problem, and we are motivated to continue finding and demonstrating the solutions.