Econ & Social Development of Indigenous Mexicans

Desarrollo Economico Social de los Mexicanos Indigenas (DESMI) provides financial, organizational and technical assistance to help community groups carry out their own projects and work together in resolving community needs. DESMI supports the development of indigenous collectives of corn and coffee production, animal husbandry, crafts production and opening local grocery stores with the goal of creating an integrated network of producers and consumers as backbone to a strong rural economy.

Wood Burning Stove

Wood Burning Stove
This wood burning stove has been recently installed and the smoke goes directly outside. It allows people to cook more efficiently and uses a lot less wood than traditional stoves. (view small | med | large | orig)

Wood Burning Stove

Wood Burning Stove
This woman demonstrates her wood-burning stove. Instead of the room being smokey, the flue (just to the left of the woman) takes the smoke outside. (view small | med | large | orig)

Traditional Stoves

Traditional Stoves
This is a typical stove that you might see in homes in Chiapas. When it is in use the smoke circulates in the house causing health problems from respiratory infections and asthma to cataracts and carbon monoxide poisoning. (view small | med | large | orig)

A Mayan Demonstrates Her Wood-Burning Stove

A Mayan Demonstrates Her Wood-Burning Stove
Mayan families have requested training and a small, interest-free loan to buy the materials to install a woodsaving stove in their homes. Each stove drastically reduces the wood needed to heat the home and cook, protecting the forest and saving the women hours of daily labor. The stoves channel smoke through a chimney, improving health of adults and children. As the families repay the loan, more families can join the project, improve their living conditions and decrease the need for wood. (view small | med | large | orig)

Commercial Logging

Commercial Logging
The biggest impact on forests comes from major logging, mining, cattle-grazing and road-building projects. But local communities also contribute to deforestation from economic necessity. Mayan families use open pit fires inside the home for cooking and heating. Women spend hours each day gathering firewood. Burning this wood contributes to global-warming, and high concentrations of carbon monoxide and particulate matter within the home, leading to respiratory damage and loss of sight. (view small | med | large | orig)