Intro to Guatemalan Pilot Study

April 10, 2014


empowerment   Guatemala   pilot study  

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Who, How, and Where is this Solar Cooking Revolution?

Background: In the Spring of 2014, GoSun Stove was awarded a grant by the Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves with the goal of developing an economically sustainable business structure and desirable product offering to the Guatemalan market in an attempt to reduce the use of dirty cooking fuels and their harmful effects. With activities starting in the May of 2014, a capable and passionate group of American and Guatemalan designers, researchers, and business developers will undertake a user centered design process including pilot studies, focus groups and participatory design sessions with women and community organizations across Guatemala in the pursuit of a socially and economically catalyzing solar cooking solution.


Introducing Team GoSun Guatemala 

Hi I’m Matt, and for the next six months I will be leading the design efforts of the GoSun Guatemala Project and documenting its progress.

The project has kicked off with an early research and relationship building trip to Guatemala taking place through the months of April and May. Our small yet capable team will visit and demonstrate our technology to potential partner communities and organizations as well as gather feedback from individuals and business we find on the way.


Our Core Guatemalan Team

Sylvia Castellanos: Research Coordinator
Working in the field of immigrant rights and sustainable rural development in the US and Guatemala for more than two decades, Sylvia provides a deep understanding of contemporary issues and rural development in Guatemala.
Julio Coj: Lead Researcher: Amatitlán
A respected community leader and labor organizer in Guatemala, Julio will help conduct pilots in his home city of Amatitlán, examining and exploring possibilities in an urban context with with a latino majority.
Arlen de Leon: Researcher: Sololá
A recent graduate from the Political Science and Sociology programs at San Carlos University, Guatemala, Arlen brings a unique skill set, essential for researching and designing within a variety of indigenous communities surrounding Lago Atitlan.
Matt Gillespie: Design Coordinator (Me!)

A recent graduate from the Industrial Design program at the University of Cincinnati, I’m going to be spearheading the prototyping, design evaluation and redesign effort. Throughout the project I will be moving between communities assisting with design research processes and producing new prototype material when possible.

With a variety of complimentary skills and experiences this team (including myself) will be on the front lines of the project as it attempts to change lives and empower communities.

Matt Gillespie
Matt Gillespie


Matt is an Industrial Designer, Design Strategist and founding member of GoSun Stove. An avid gardener, cyclist and outdoor explorer, Matt brings his passion for connecting and serving others to the GoSun Team.

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