The energy that connects us defines the future.

 
 
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— our mission

 

Kara Solar is a solar-powered river transportation, energy, and community enterprise initiative in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Since 2012, a team of engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs, together with Achuar community members and leaders, have been working together on this shared dream.

 

Our work takes three complimentary and interconnected approaches:

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Infrastructure

Design and construct solar boats and community solar micro-network ports

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People

Innovate financial and organizational models to strengthen local economies

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Planning

Our Achuar territorial observatory monitors impacts and plans for resilience

 


“Our environment is our blessing. That is why the solar boats are the perfect alternative for us.”

Nantu Canelos
Local Coordinator, Kara Solar


 

— The Kara Solar Story

 

In the language of the Achuar people of Ecuador and Peru, Kara means “a dream that comes true.”

 
 
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I.

Within the dream culture of the Achuar there has always been a vision of a “fire” canoe, like an electric fish, which would bring a new and hopeful future, one in harmony with the spirit of the jungle; a future inspired by the flow of the rivers of the rainforest, transcending mental, physical, and political boundaries.

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II.

Kara Solar is a fulfillment of this dream. Uniting social and technical investigation, ancestral wisdom, and cooperative businesses, we have created the Amazon’s first solar-powered river transportation system. This solar network promises to strengthen the connection between Achuar communities, create opportunity for commercial activities, and open the way to the exchange of the knowledge, technologies, and experiences from ancestral and western cultures.

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III.

So far, Kara Solar has connected nine Achuar communities, located along 67 km of the Pastaza and Capahuari Rivers. Ultimately, our shared dream is to strengthen and grow the Kara Solar system throughout the Amazon.

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IV.

As we create a community owned enterprise that meets exiting needs and replaces expensive, contaminating fuels, we imagine a future of new possibilities and opportunities. This is the first step towards a new model of infrastructure for the Amazon, designed not for but with local communities.

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—Our Motivations

 

We believe that the best way to preserve the rainforest is to empower its indigenous custodians. By transforming energy use in vulnerable territories, we are activating resilient technological and socio-economic alternatives to degradation and exploitation.

 

— SUPPORT our mission

Follow along as we put
this dream in motion!

 


 
 
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