photo of child


How many of us would have thought about a cardboard box when asked about alternative energy resources?

Weston Benedictine Monks
Journey to Nicaragua
Winter Retreat, 2001

Susan's Courtyard
Susan's Courtyard

Barrio Edgar Munguia 2001:
Making solar ovens, Suni Solar


In ways unfamiliar to us, this poor barrio is a store of riches. We have the opportunity to explore the neighborhood, guided by the sisters.

solar demonstration
Solar demonstration
Just a few doors down from the sisters' house, Susan and Richard are conducting a workshop on building solar ovens out of discarded cardboard, aluminum, and pieces of glass.

Land mine victims, trained by Richard, are conducting the workshop. Unemployment is rampant in Nicaragua, and victims of land mines dating back to the U.S.-backed Contra War have even less opportunity for work.

But there is a sense of accomplishment, hope and respect in this little courtyard.

Susan, who is hosting the workshop in the little courtyard behind her house, is a professor of engineering at the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria in Managua. Richard is the president of the Maine Solar Energy Association of Jonesport, Maine, and the founder of the Suni Solar Corp. in Managua.

We walk around the block and stop at another house. In the front yard, a woman is baking a cake in her newly constructed solar oven.

When the question of alternative energy is brought up, what comes to mind? Possibly electric cars, solar panels, or even the redesigning of our living spaces so that their efficiency is increased.

baking a cake in a solar oven
Baking a cake

How many of us would have thought about a cardboard box when asked about alternative energy resources? We didn't, until we met the Sisters' next-door neighbor in Managua.

Yet all of us know that our earth only has so much it can offer to us before we need to ask ourselves about alternative energy. Some of us had read about solar cookers being used to cook meals instead of regular ovens, but we had never seen one!

Next: Alternative energy: Looking at our future

Back to Top

58 Priory Hill Road • Weston, VT 05161-6400 • 802-824-5409 • Fax 802-824-3573

Prayer Schedule | Bulletin | Retreats | Our Life & Values | Living With a Monastic Community
Becoming a Brother | Directions | Online Shopping | Articles | Links | Home

© The Benedictine Foundation of the State of Vermont, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Weston Priory Logo

pre-loaded photo   pre-loaded photo   pre-loaded photo