About Institute Perene –
Who We Are and Where We Work

A Non-Profit Organization Founded in 2006

Instituto Perene is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 with the mission of promoting development while protecting natural resources in rural Brazil.  Founded by Guilherme Valladares, a forester and entrepreneur from Brazil, and Renata Everett Valladares, an American engineer, the institute has grown to a team of motivated and dedicated women and men tackling social and environmental issues with practical solutions. Ten years of field work in the Recôncavo region of Brazil have led to a deep knowledge of the problems faced by rural villages and a profound respect for the ingenuity and perseverance of local families in overcoming their daily challenges.

Market-Based Solutions for Sustainable Development

Guilherme Monteiro do Prado Valladares, Executive Director is an expert in market-based solutions for sustainable development, with 20 years´ experience in the areas of forestry, energy and climate change mitigation in his native Brazil.  Mr. Valladares has in-depth experience in rural Bahia as well as an extensive network to reach key individuals in the state and federal government.

Renata Everett Valladares, Technical Director, is a mechanical engineer with 18 years´ experience in developing appropriate technology solutions for rural development.  Ms. Valladares is co-founder and technical director of the non-profit organization Instituto Perene, operating out of Salvador, Brazil.  Since 2006 her work has focused on the design and implementation of efficient cookstove programs in Brazil.

Where We Work

Perene Institute works with rural communities in the Atlantic Rainforest biome. Our focus has been the Recôncavo, an area composed of 33 municipalities that surround the Bahia de Todos os Santos, or Bay of all Saints.

Originally covered by the tropical forests and mangroves characteristic of the coastal Atlantic Forest biome, the region has been giving way to cattle-grazing, logging and sugarcane plantations for centuries.

The Recôncavo was densely populated by indigenous groups before the arrival of Europeans and was the first area to be settled by Portuguese colonists. Today, the population is predominantly low-income, rural and of mixed indigenous- and African-descent.

Infrastructure is precarious and access to education and jobs is limited. Subsistence farming, fishing and forest extraction are their main economic activities, supplemented by government subsidies.

Despite the difficulties faced by the Reconcavo’s population, there is an invaluable cultural heritage and diverse economic activities that can be supported to improve local livelihoods.

Community participation

is an integral part of Perene’s initiatives.

Women know best what works in their kitchens and their families, and Perene has always involved women in the design stages of its initiatives. From the start, local cooks participated in the efficient stove design phase with Perene and Aprovecho Research Center, and were directly involved in deciding the dimensions, location, and features of the new stove model. Instituto Perene attributes the popularity of the stove to the prominent participation of women in developing the stove model..