Solar Fruit Dehydrators for MicroEntrepreneurs

by Appropriate Technology Collaborative


In indigenous communities of Solola, Guatemala 48% of children are malnourished. Their parents suffer related issues of high unemployment, lack of education and finance opportunities, and are unable to break the cycle of poverty. ATC works with small cooperatives in the department of Solola to link appropriate technologies with community groups to improve the quality of life. Solar Dehydrators sustainably produce dried herbs, fruits and vegetables to generate an income.

total goal
monthly donors


High malnutrition rates, high unemployment, poor finance education, and competition with big business keeps small scale farmers in Solola extremely poor. Selling agricultural products to middlemen, cash is only available at harvest time and for much of the year the family goes hungry. Almost half of the children in Solola are malnourished. These factors contribute to barriers to income generation and the cycle of poverty continues.


Cooperatives of rural youth, women, agriculturalists, artisans and fishermen are a common strategy to pool resources to assist their economic development. Our solar dehydrator, easily built from locally available materials, uses passive solar power to capture heat and channel hot air through a drying chamber. It preserves herbs, fruits, vegetables and meats adding value to farm products, and widening their income margin.

Long-Term Impact

Cooperatives with a solar dehydrator will earn extra income for locally farmed products and enjoy the value added, requiring only a minimum of added human labour. Two current user-groups, a women's cooperative and an Elders Association are using funds to cover medical expenses and family nutrition. In the next year, 3 more solar dehydrators will generate a new income to over 30 cooperative members in Solola.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).


Visit our website to see more App Tech Designs

Organization Information

Appropriate Technology Collaborative

Location: Ann Arbor, MI - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
John Barrie
Ann Arbor, MI United States

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.