“LAURA” AND “VICTORIA”

Transport, Energy

After studying adventure tourism in South Africa and Canada, Rodolfo Rada embarked on an epic return to Chile, his native country. He travelled with "Laura", a hippie-looking, rickety old Volkswagen car powered by an unusual but environmentally friendly material: cooking oil.

By running ‘Laura’ on cooking oil, Rada is facing today’s reality: a plateau in global oil production. Today the world produces around 75 million barrels a day, the same amount recorded in 2005. Although new oil deposits have been found in countries like Brazil, Canada and the USA, experts say that the amount extracted from them is not enough to make up for the low levels of oil in old deposits.

Worried about human dependence on the black gold and aware that its disappearance is imminent, Rada and "Laura" together brought the good news of clean energy, alternative fuels and a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of living to all the people they passed across the American continent (from Vancouver to Punta Arenas in Chile). Rada’s source of cooking oil supply: the fuel given to him by people who fell completely in love with his “cacharrito”.

Nearly 60,000 kilometers were covered as he crossed 17 countries in North, Central and South America, using approximately 7,000 liters of the cooking oil. Latin rock groups, presidents, soldiers, friends and strangers witnessed this adventurous guy seeking to make a powerful point about the environment kilometer by kilometer.

But now Rada has a new love: "Victoria". A Mercedes Benz microbus from 1987. "Victoria" has also been modified to work on cooking oil. She runs through Chile as a kind of rolling green school through which Rada can teach other Latinos about how they can inhabit the planet in a more responsible way.