What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
AAfter years of touring the US, promoting ecological development, performing shows, and giving business presentations, Kevin Adair received the dream call: to perform for 4 tropical resorts in the Dominican Republic. The job was great-- only 4 nights a week! He lived as a guest in the ultra-luxurious resorts. But he found that he couldn’t just sit by the beach all day. He felt the call to do something constructive, ecological and beneficial.
Kevin saw extensive poverty on the ride between resorts: miles of concrete and zinc roofs baking in the sun, but no alternative energy. He decided to build and distribute Sun Ovens which cook delicious food by the power of the sun. He envisioned El Fuego del Sol, a GeoTourism destination, offering ecological development, socially conscious tours across the country, voluntourism and Fair Trade jobs.
Kevin befriended a young man working as a taxi-driver. The friend brought Kevin to his home to meet his family. Kevin enjoyed real Dominican food that tasted better than any resort food. Together they visited many available properties in the region. Kevin decided on a large former motel, close to where his new friend grew up. The property was sprawling and beautiful with fruit trees and many native plants growing inside the surrounding walls. It had been closed for 10 years. Turning the old motel into our GeoTourism ranch would be a recycling act in itself. We have transformed the property into an ecological garden, horse ranch, and event center with guest cabins and camping. Our ecovillage ranch is now under development and renovation, and we have expanded our scope to be providing tours throughout the DR. We are working to help the DR become a GeoTourism and eco-industry leader, not just a bargain place to visit the beach.
Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
Kevin Adair, Founder and President of Fuego del Sol has over 20 years experience in the tourism/service sector including event design coordination and management. Kevin has developed events for hotels, restaurants, resorts and cruise ships around the world including Jamaica, Germany, Mexico and thousands of events in the United States. He has produced, created, developed, and presented corporate events and presentations for companies including Hyatt Hotels, Dolphin Cruise Lines, Chicago’s Mayors Office of Special Events, and Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Kevin’s corporate presentations have appeared on NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America. Since 1993 Kevin has owned, developed, promoted and sold 11 real estate property projects in the United States. Kevin has also been working to improve environmental and social conditions throughout his life. Since 2005 Kevin has lived in the Dominican Republic working in the hotel and environment sectors. Kevin graduated Cum Laude in Theater and Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University.
Warren M. Hineline, Corporate Treasurer, is retired from 35 years of service as a product technical specialist for electrical conductivity device manufacturer Hubbell Incorporated. Mr. Hineline has been a long time financial supporter of key environmental NGOs including: The Nature Conservancy, The Audubon Society, The Sierra Club, Earth Justice, The Union of Concerned Scientists and The National Parks Conservation Association. Warren has also volunteered for numerous social service organizations including: Meals on Wheels, and The DuPage Inter-generational Village where he served as Secretary/Treasurer for 8 years. Warren’s long-term dedication to environmental protection has brought him to help found Fuego del Sol S.L.R. with the goal of affecting substantial environmental change one community at a time.
Elvin Mejia Grullon, began his relationship with EFdS as a client. He is now our factory’s General Manager. He has worked in the tourism sector of Bavaro - Punta Cana since 2001 for prominent companies such as VIP Tours, Tourinter, Club Caribe, and Nexus. Elvin is fluent in Spanish, English, and French and he has been a solid member of the Fuego del Sol corporate team since the company’s inception in 2005. Elvin has worked as Tourism and Outreach Manager for the EFdS project and Recycling Director for the waste management project. Currently Elvin oversees all aspects of Fuego del Sol operations including employee relations, program development, and tour operator coordination.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
Through another organization or company
If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company
Clinton Global Initiative and Xigi