Ricardo A. Navarro
Ricardo Navarro is a mechanical engineer by profession.
In the 1970s while he was a professor at the State University in San Salvador, he organized three international Congresses: "Efficient Use of Natural Resources," "Appropriate Technology for Developing Countries" and "Basic Needs and Technology." Due to this, the engineering community of El Salvador became involved in ecological and social issues in the country for the first time.
In 1980, Navarro founded the Salvadorian Centre for Appropriate Technology (CESTA).
While in political exile, Navarro continued to work for the welfare of his people. He conducted an investigation into the use of bicycles as an alternative transport medium. The bicycles made from used parts provided jobs and an energy-friendly transportation mode.
Upon his return to El Salvador, he influenced peoples' attitudes towards their environment encouraging more direct participation in environmental matters. Navarro was one of the main contributors to the action plan for the National Ecological Recovery of El Salvador (the"Cerro Verde" proposal). A timely plan as the country had a war-torn abused environment.
Through CESTA, and in cooperation with Salvadorian ecologists and environmental organizations, Navarro was able to save ecologically important areas from destruction and hazardous industrial development. He also prevented toxic waste dumping.