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The Existing Demonstration House

An introduction of the 5 Appropriate Technologies and why we propose them

The 2012 Guateca Team invented and implemented five appropriate technologies in the Demonstration House designed to improve effiency, comfort and quality of life. Our team aims to distribute the ideas from these technologies to the San Pablo Community by community awareness and education.

InsulaciĆ³n/ Insulation


In San Pablo, the peoples’ main technique of cooking and heating is using the wood-fired stove. Due to this practice, the region was heavily deforested. In 1950, the people had to desert the region. It was not until 1980 that the region was re-inhabited. Now the forest has almost completely regrown. However, with the increasing population there needs to be a more sustainable and efficient use of firewood.

The Cal Poly student group that went to Guateca in 2012 found out that the houses lose heat rapidly because they don’t have proper insulation. A simple solution is to install Insulating materials to the walls. These materials can be easily found and accessed in the local regions. For more information please visit the insulation website below.

Solar PV Panels


This method is also an attempt to more sustainable power usage when the technological age is slowly invading the region; more and more people are dependent on constant and reliable source of electricity in their house. In addition, when a community is at its earlier phase of development, it is easier to install and practice sustainable technology than thoroughly established communities. Thus this solar panel system is the answer from the Guateca group in 2012. Even though there are some materials that cannot be freely found in the region, the system proved to work well. More information from this technology can be found in the cafe link at the end of the page.

Ventanas/ Windows


Windows can be a good source of natural light, which save electricity use during the day. However, they are the main reason why the heat is lost in the house. Therefore, the Guateca group invented a new design for windows. Their invention is comprised of two types of windows. One is an insulated two-layer window and one is on the roof top to gather sunlight. These windows don’t only save great power during the day, but they also help insulate the house. More information can be found in the Guateca window website below.

Estufa Eficiente/ Efficient Stove


The main method for cooking in San Pablo is the stove-top box design, in which the firebricks are used as material to build the box; firewood is inserted through an opening and lighted up to heat the top of the box stove. This method is proved to be inefficient in terms of heat combustion for cooking as well as fire wood resources. As a response to this problem, the group invented the efficient stove. This new stove not only provide better heat, but it also heat the room for a prolonged period of time, solving heating problem in the house, proper fire combustion for cooking and sustainable use of resources. More information on this technology can be found in the Guateca website listed at the end of this page.

Agua Caliente/ Hot Water

water.png Electric heaters are one of the most energy-consuming devices in the village (using almost 4000W per shower). With the continuing dependence of the villagers on the expensive electricity which is provided by a Spanish company, the locals are in great need of a better method of heating their shower water. As a result, the Guateca team implemented a sustainable water heating system that incorporates sunlight heat, hot water from stove in the house and pure gravity to provide water pressure for the shower hose. This helps the locals move away from using electricity and not only save money but also the environment (since the electricity in the region is mainly produced by burning coal). More information on this technology can be found in the Guateca website below.

Technologies Taken from 2012 Appropriate Technologies Guateca Blog