Stove Builders of Guatemala

Country: Guatemala
Advance #3022040 DONATE NOW

Project Information

Promoting health and self-sufficiency by teaching Mayans how to build fuel-efficient, vented stoves.

Describe the need affecting community

Women and children are especially impacted by the wood smoke that fills their cooking huts. Respiratory problems are the #1 health issue in many countries including Guatemala. Children fall into the open fire and get burned. Women wear long skirts and those catch fire. Also, there is little employment near the local villages. People carry huge bundles of fire wood down the mountain and sell it for about $2 a load. Open cook fires consume large quantities of wood which continues to deplete the rain forests of Guatemala.

How will this Advance project help to address the need?

Building a vented stove for the family means fewer bronchial and eye problems for the women and children. The fire is off the ground so fewer fire related accidents occur, and the stoves use 2/3 less firewood than the regular cooking fires. The Mayan communities are very poor, have few resources and yet they are eager to improve their lives and are eager to have a stove. We improve the financial situation by hiring local workers to build the stoves. They are paid a fair wage, more than they would make carrying wood or other jobs they may find. We help the local economy by purchasing all building materials locally. So far more than 2,000 stoves have been built, representing 100’s of families whose lives and health have been dramatically improved with the addition of this new stove.

Describe the primary goal of the project

Our long-term goal is to expand the project to all parts of Guatemala, and thus improve the quality of life for thousands of people. Ultimately we hope to develop a stronger link with the Methodist Church of Guatemala. Through these local Methodist churches there will be an increased funding to individuals and they can provide follow up ministries with the families.

Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project

We want local churches in Guatemala to assume more financial support for the program. Local stove builders will be asked to report progress to local Guatemalan congregations. The most obvious change will be better health for each family that has a stove. We are also seeing changes in our stove builders and the other people we work with as our Christian values are emulated.

Contact Information