We are delighted to share that GVI have just been announced winners of the best volunteer organization category at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone who voted for and supported us.
GVI volunteers work on this project throughout the year making important hands on contributions to our work. The attached article explains some of the impact made on our project in Guatemala and elsewhere thanks to everyone’s hard work and support.
Thanks to the amazing support for this project, over the years, we have been able to build energy efficient stoves throughout the community of Buena Vista in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
Buena Vista is typical of many Indigenous communities in Guatemala, comprised of wonderful proud Indigenous people with an infectious charm although living in basic living conditions and with limited access to basic rights like education, sufficient food and housing life can be hard.
This project has brought energy efficient stoves to this community which have dramatically improved living conditions and efficiency in the home. These stoves reduce firewood consumption by up to 70% helping to reduce deforestation but this also means that families spend less time collecting firewood and can work, tend to their families, go to school or even find some time to relax. In addition these stoves reduce indoor air pollution which can cause serious health concerns, particularly for women and children who will spend more time in the home.
We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has supported this project and made a real difference to the lives of Indigenous people in Guatemala.
Great news from Guatemala as we have a team of incoming volunteers who will be working with our project staff and local community members to construct some much needed stoves over the coming weeks.
The families who receive these energy efficient stoves will benefit from huge improvements in their living conditions. Many families living in Indigenous communities still cook over open fires within the home in an area which may by their only living and sleeping space for the whole family.
Apart from obvious safety concerns the open fires can cause serious health issues for families members. The fires also require a lot of wood which can take many hours to collect and increase deforestation.
Energy efficient stoves reduce firewood consumption by 75% and can add years onto the lives of family members. With less time collecting firewood family members have more time to work and bring food and an income into the household.
As the reforestation rates continue to be alarming in Guatemala, and the numbers of cases of illnesses from indoor smoke inhalation and burns are on the increase, the stoves we build are becoming even more important.
They can save up to 75% of firewood usage, reduce smoke in the home completely and due to their design, cut down potential burn accidents to a minimum. With volunteers working side-by-side with the local mason, the difference is visible in a few short days.
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