Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala

by EcoLogic Development Fund
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Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fuel-Efficient Stoves for Guatemala
Fernando, conducting follow up visit on stove
Fernando, conducting follow up visit on stove

Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

I’m writing to you today because I know you care about the families and communities we work with in Guatemala. My name is Fernando Recancoj and I am the Field Technician for EcoLogic’s project with the Natural Resource Council of the 48 Cantones in Totonicapán. I want to take this moment to THANK YOU for your generous support. It allows us to respond to the immediate needs of rural and indigenous families so that they can have dignified lives and livelihoods in the places where they live. 

I have worked in this community for over 10 years, providing technical assistance to the Natural Resource Council of the 48 Cantones to implement a series of complementary strategies that seek to empower rural communities to conserve the forest of San Miguel de Los Altos and surrounding forested areas (about 52,000 acres). These strategies include: a) reducing the consumption of firewood needed for cooking by building fuel-efficient stoves; b) the construction and maintenance of greenhouses to grow trees; c) working with the communities to plant those trees in degraded areas of the forest; and d) raising the awareness of the local population and providing environmental education to students about the importance of conservation of the forest and natural resources.

Last week, I started the process of visiting the households of potential beneficiaries of new fuel-efficient stoves. It reinforces for me that the need for additional stoves is great. For each household, we start by conducting an interview to evaluate socioeconomic factors to ensure the stoves go to households that are in most need. For example, two of the households that will benefit from the next round of stoves are single mothers, Julia Teresa and Laura Hermenegilda. They both expressed their need and interest in receiving a stove so that they can improve the health of their families by reducing smoke in their homes and reduce their need for firewood. 

I look forward to keeping you updated on the experiences of Julia Teresa and Laura Hermenegilda as we move forward with the process of constructing the stoves in their homes. Your support today will allow us to reach more families in their community, called Zona 4. Each gift is multiplied by the families who contribute local materials (like sand and soil) and labor to build the stoves.

In solidarity,

Fernando Recancoj, Project Technician, Totonicapán

P.S. This recent article in the New Yorker (April 2019) documents some of the challenges faced by subsistence farming communities in Guatemala in general, and Totonicapán in particular: “As climate change has worsened, the dry corridor has extended into the western part of the country—scientists describe Totonicapán as the most vulnerable department in the western highlands—and efforts have been made to anticipate and mitigate further damage.”

Growing trees in the greenhouse
Growing trees in the greenhouse
Reforestation campaign
Reforestation campaign
Learning creative techniques for env education
Learning creative techniques for env education
Environmental education
Environmental education
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Delivering the stove
Delivering the stove

Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

I wanted to share a recent story of our work in Guatemala. Last month we worked with our local partner APROSARSTUN to deliver a fuel-efficient stove to a community school located in the buffer zone of the Sarstun Multiple Use Zone. In Guatemala, there is a government school feeding program. In exchange for their child’s meals, each family is responsible for providing the school with 5 logs per week. These families must either collect or buy this fuelwood. In an effort to reduce this need, APROSARSTUN is outfitting schools in the 12 communities where it works with more efficient stoves that need much less fuel compared to the current alternative: open-fire cooking.

This stove is making a significant difference in reducing firewood consumption, reducing deforestation, improving economic conditions for local families, and making sure the children get nutritious and sufficient school meals.

And don’t forget: EcoLogic has the opportunity to win a year-long slot in the GlobalGiving Climate Fund, which allows Climate Change-themed projects on GlobalGiving to receive ongoing funding throughout the year that we can count on to drive our work.

To win we need to get as many individual donations as possible.Your donation can be as little as $10--but we need as many unique donors as we can muster by April 29. In addition, GlobalGiving is offering matching gifts, donations will be matched at 50% up to $500 USD per individual donor per organization while funds remain.

I work with these communities day in and day out. I know how much they appreciate the positive impact you are making in their lives and on their forests through your support of EcoLogic. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me at mdeleon@ecologic.org. Or, better yet, come visit us and see for yourself!

In solidarity,

Mario Ardany de Leon, Programm Officer

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Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

Feliz Año Nuevo! We wish you all the best in 2019. Thanks very much to all of you who contributed to this project during the end-of-year campaign. It means so much to us and the communities we support.

For this report, I wanted to share the reflections of Florencia from the village of Santa Maria Tzejá in Guatemala. As she thanks us, we thank you. We simply cannot do this work without you and we greatly appreciate your partnership. Florencia's comments below are minimally edited for translation:

"I have worked hard in planting trees as part of the project and in reward for all my effort I received a fuel-efficient wood-burning stove with the objective of reducing the pressure on the forest. I am very happy to receive my stove. Now it costs me less to prepare my food. I have a griddle on which I can place two pots at the same time. I can make tortillas. Previously it took a lot of time and effort because only one pot could fit on my stove.         

I thank EcoLogic for making it possible for many families in my community to have a fuel-efficient wood-burning stove. I can say that they really do save a lot of firewood, they don't call them fuel-efficient for nothing. Those of us who have wood-saving stoves, there are times that we visit with each other and we always notice that our husbands no longer bring much wood from the plot because we don’t need it as much as before.

With these stoves, I can say that we have helped nature and I plan to continue conserving for many more years. I also have to thank the EcoLogic technicians who have done their work visiting me in my home. They explain how to give it maintenance, how to use it and how to care for it. They also give me recommendations on the size of the firewood and that it should be dry for better results in my stove.

In the same way, I thank EcoLogic for promoting the conservation and restoration of the forests in the Ixcán region and especially in my community of Santa Maria Tzejá."

With much gratitude,

Mario Ardany de León--Program Officer, Guatemala
EcoLogic Development Fund
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Dear Global Giving Supporters,

I am pleased to share that the 100 fuel-efficient stoves I told you about back in June are now completed! Here’s a Facebook post by a local TV station about this project (in Spanish): https://www.facebook.com/telered.totonicapan/videos/1597596260344937/

With your support, we’ve been able to provide the stove parts, such as the chimney and the ‘plancha’ or metal plate, the transportation, and the technical support for the construction process. For each stove we help build, however, the family must contribute local materials, like sand and clay, their labor to help build it, and they volunteer one day to go plant trees in the Communal Forest. This adds up to about US$70 (Q. 540) per family. This in-kind contribution is carefully documented so that each family can take pride in their investment.

Another update is that we had a Masters’ student from the Universidad de San Carlos collect data and perform tests to determine the efficiency of the stoves in our project site in Totonicapán. After several months of work, he recently determined that by replacing an open-pit fire with this model of fuel-efficient stove in 25 homes, over a five year period there would be a savings of 372.85 cubic meters of firewood. This would avoid 1.2 acres (0.5 hectares)--about the size of a football field--of deforestation and reduce household expenditures by $12,644.75 (Q. 98,886.29).

I have included a few pictures for you. Thanks again for being part of this work that is helping communities and conserving forests! I look forward to the next update.

Saludos,

Mario Ardany de León - Program Officer, Guatemala

EcoLogic Development Fund

Before and after
Before and after
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Dear Friends,

I wanted to share with you this recent video about the progress of fuel-efficient cookstove construction in Totonicapán, Guatemala. In it, you will hear Margarita Tacám explain how we make sure that our stoves go to those who need them most. You will also hear from several community members who have been part of the project, how they are experiencing the benefits the improved cookstoves bring about. I hope it gives you a better sense of how your support is making a difference on the ground.

I work with these communities day in and day out. I know how much they appreciate the positive impact you are making in their lives and on their forest through your support of EcoLogic. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me at mdeleon@ecologic.org. Or, better yet, come to visit us and see for yourself!

In solidarity,

Mario Ardany de León

Program Officer, Guatemala

EcoLogic Development Fund

Links:

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Organization Information

EcoLogic Development Fund

Location: Cambridge, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ecologicdevfund
Project Leader:
Barbara Vallarino
Cambridge, MA United States
$22,330 raised of $30,000 goal
 
272 donations
$7,670 to go
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