Vale Encantado Favela, Rio, Brazil - 2014

When the pours were finished in Niteroi T.H. and Jorma and the local team from Niteroi took the molds by pick up truck to the rainforest Favela "Vale Encantado", working with Theresa Williamson and Catalytic Communities, an NGO that specializes in community development and empowerment and was one of the inspirations and catalysts  for Solar C3CITIES (Connecting Community Catalysts Integrating Technologis for Industrial Ecology Solutions).  Vale Encantado community leader Ottavio Alves Barros, who came to a workshop in Niteroi on Puxin assembly that Cuhane, Teller and Vasconcellos gave during the build there, finished a food waste digester under their communal kitchen in July 2014 with Marcello Ambrosio, Luis Vasconcellos,  Tito Cals and Leo Adler.

In this way the Solar CITIES development model proceeds in practice:  Each build in a community acts as a training opportunity for members from other communities to gain the expertise to do it themselves.  Once a build is finished in one place, the biogas molds can be transported to the next community where another build takes place and members of another community are trained.  The molds can then be passed to that next community.  The Puxin molds become like the Arco-Iris Ecological traveling circus that Culhane performed with in Quitos Ecuador:  The circus moves on, but new performers join in each new location.  It is basically the same show with new players -- like a wave the water is localized but the movement ever forward.

In this spirit, Solar CITIES e.V.  normally sets the wave in motion by joining receptive communities and building a small scale biogas system out of local materials.

In the summer of 2013 Culhane and Vasconcellos, joined by Insinkerator's Julio Porta, built a 500 liter biogas system in Niteroi at the old Creche (day care center) out of the typical Brazilian tapered open water tank just to show that it could be done.

The next visit Culhane made, he and Vasconcellos built an experimental  500 liter system out of a typical sealed water tank with the members of Alemao Verdejar.

These basic training opportunities in small scale biogas build confidence and familiarity with biogas before launching into a larger community size build.


Read more about our Vale Encantado work in English here and here and in Portugese here, in articles by our Brazilian NGO partner Catalytic Communities.

Finished building:  Wednesday, 6 August, 2014
Puxin in Rio