Aprovecho Research Center (ARC), a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation established in 1976, is dedicated to researching, developing and disseminating appropriate technological solutions for meeting the basic human needs of refugees and impoverished people and communities in the developing world. ARC's goal is to help relieve suffering, improve health, enhance safety, and reduce adverse impacts on the environment. ARC provides technical assistance and related appropriate technology to projects around the world. The main focus is on cooking and heating systems that use biomass for fuel.
For twenty-nine years, ARC consultants have been designing and implementing improved biomass cooking and heating technologies in over sixty countries around the world. The program was started initially to aid the peoples of Guatemala in their effort to restore cities and villages after a devastating earthquake. The ARC group became well known in Central America by designing and building low-cost biomass cook stoves made from locally available materials. As a result, over 2,000,000 improved biomass cooking and heating stoves have been implemented through work with various governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Since then, the ARC group has continued to expand internationally, and a center for the research and development of biomass stoves and appropriate technology has been established.
ARC has worked diligently to expand the worldwide knowledge base and technical capacity of this field. Recognized as a leader in the stove industry for providing innovative and appropriate technological solutions to the problems faced by impoverished people and communities in the developing world, ARC has and continues to maintain an “open source” policy in regard to developments in stove technology and related intellectual property.
In cooperation with the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) and Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service (ETHOS), as well as partnerships with universities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, private institutions, and indigenous peoples, ARC helps to manage the transfer of this technology and information from the policymaking level down to the end user and then back.