Aug 14, 2018

Creating Change One Stove at a Time

Every day that we are in rural Guatemalan communities we confront the reality of unsafe, open-fire cookstoves. The serious health consequences and the dangers associated with open-fire cooking are obvious in any home or school. In addition, the environmental vulnerability of communities is only getting more challenging. After years of implementing safer, more energy efficient cookstoves and educating communities - schools and families want to make a change - but we still need your help to make this happen for them!

Together, we have made a lot progress already - more than 120 families and 4 schools are breathing and cooking safely, while also cutting their wood consumption in half, but there is more to do to make this the norm. More families need assistance to make this important change. We have already identified the highest need families who are ready and willing to care for a safer, more energy efficient cookstove and we are hopeful that with your help we can make this a reality. Every stove whether in a home or a school makes a big impact. Thank you for your continued support!

May 16, 2018

Before and After

We keep working to deliver Safe, Energy Efficient Stoves to families and schools because we personally know the drastic difference it makes on the lives of beneficiaries. The effects of an open-fire cookstove can clearly be seen in the physical environment of homes and schools - smoke filled rooms, blackened with ash and soot. Just imagine the effects on the human body. Prolonged and repeated exposure to an open-fire cooking situation has severe consequences for the respiratory system.

Recently, we installed 2 new safe, energy efficient stoves in a school kitchen where we implement our daily school feeding program. As you can see in the "Before" photo above, mothers in this school were enduring terrible conditions due to the traditional open-fire cooking stations the kitchen. The smoke had ruined the roof, stained all of the walls, and filled the room with so much ash and smoke it was almost impossible to see or breathe. These moms lived with this reality every day until your donations allowed us to rectify the situation with new stoves. Your donations also inspired other donations to replace the roof and fully clean, paint, and repair the kitchen for these moms. The transformation is huge! Moms are now cooking safely and efficiently for 95 students.

We want to make sure every school kitchen has healthy conditions for moms who are cooking and preparing food. Together, we can make more kitchen makeovers like this one. Will you help us to install 4 more stoves in other needy schools? For $1,000 we can make a long-lasting difference in the lives of many moms. 

Feb 12, 2018

Mom Tested and Approved!

Traditionally, most rural families in Guatemala cook over wood fire because there is a strong preference for the flavor wood gives to food and wood is a more accessible source of energy that can be gathered locally at low or no cost. For this reason, HRI is working to resolve the health and environmental challenges that traditional open wood fire stoves create by implementing a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative that continues to satisfy local needs and preferences.

Over the past 5 years that HRI has been implementing alternative stoves, we appreciate that women, the majority of which are mothers, have a lot to say on this topic. We take their opinions and feedback seriously so we can advance our mission to create healthy behavior change and help shift every household towards a safer, more efficient method of cooking for the long term. We recently checked in with several moms cooking in 2 different school kitchens with our newest stoves, manufactured by Estufa Chispa. This is what they had to say:

"I like these stoves a lot - especially that they are smaller, that there is less smoke in the kitchen and that we don't need as much wood to cook the food for the children. These stoves help a lot and I would like to have one like it in my home." ~Olga

"The thing I like most about these stoves is that they are easy to use and clean. The stove I have in my house is made of mud - these in the school are more durable, they need less wood and the food tastes like it was made by the oven." ~Matea

"I would love one of these stoves for my home. I really like the small size of these stoves and they are much easier to clean if you do it soon after cooking. Before we used too much wood and now it is better with no smoke in the kitchen. I also think the food tastes better." ~Marta

"These stoves are so much more comfortable to use, especially lifting large pots on and off the heat. I like the way these stoves function and we save more time and wood when cooking." ~Otilia

Now that these stoves have been thoroughly tested by moms in school kitchens, we are confident that a home version would be a big success! As we move forward, we are looking to expand our effort to reach more families in need of a safe cooking option in their home. We hope you'll continue to be a part of the solution to save lives and improve the health of children and families in desperate need. 

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