Mercedes is a native of Nicaragua and is the founder and current Director of FUPROSOMUNIC (Fundación Proyecto Solar para Mujeres Nicaragüenses) working together with over 700 Nicaraguan families to provide low-cost solar ovens and other sustainable environmental technology in rural impoverished areas. This work has involved direct teaching of solar oven construction, followed by training for the ongoing use of the ovens, as well as instruction in general health principles related to adverse effects of smoke exposure for women and their families and the need for better nutritional intake.
FUPROSOMUNIC is in the beginning phase of building a processing center for fruits and teas which in the long-term will provide income and self-sustainability to the organization. They also are planning for a demonstration center to promote Biointensive gardens for vegetables, herbs, spices, and fruits.
Mercedes served as the Regional Coordinator for Sustainable Harvest International from 2005 to 2012 with outreach programs in Panama, Honduras, Belize, and Nicaragua. Mercedes was directly responsible for supervision of an agricultural program providing extended health counseling and nutritional services to individual farmers and over 1,000 families throughout Central America.
Mercedes was an Environmental Analyst with the National Center of Diagnosis and Reference within the Nicaragua Ministry of Health from 1988 to 1997 where she provided professional analysis of heavy metals in food, water and biological compounds, and made determination of pesticide levels in food, grains, water and soils for Nicaraguan families, as well as providing assessment and quality control for drinking water.
María Mercedes Álvarez
Fundación Proyecto Solar para Mujeres Nicaragüenses
e-mail: Mercedes Álvarez