February is the month of love and friendship around the world. What better way is there to show appreciation for your community than to help build your neighbor's stove, and they in return help you construct yours. This is the underlying principle of the stove program in Guatemala - to learn from your neighbor and pay it forward.
EcoLogic conducts workshops for women educating them on how to build a stove and its proper maintenance. Once these women have attended the workshops they graduate to construction. In groups of 8-10, they go from home to home building their neighbors stove, realizing the importance working with each other and the community.
This philosophy is what has made EcoLogic's stove program in Guatemala so successful. Ensuring every family that wants to better their lives and protect their health, can.
In the last 12 months alone, due to your generous support, over 150 families were trained in construction, use, and management of the stoves. This led to the construction of over 150 stoves in 13 communities. The beneficiaries of these stoves, specifically women and children, can now breathe more freely in their homes without fear of illness or respiratory disease. Children can go to school more regularly knowing that the fire wood they have collected will last twice as long with the new stove. In addition, these 150 families are participating in the reforestation of 4,500 trees.
Help us keep the momentum going!
While our progress is steady, we are only a quarter of the way to meeting our goal. In the spirit of love and friendship, you, your friends, and family can help us continue our work putting clean stoves in homes throughout rural Guatemala helping build safer, cleaner communities.
p.s. Don't forget to sign up for our eNews to receive important monthly updates on EcoLogic's projects and information on ways to get involved!
There has been tremendous progress with our work since we last reported to you on EcoLogic’s fuel-efficient stove project in Guatemala. I am very happy to inform - thanks in part to your contribution - that EcoLogic has built an additional 65 fuel-efficient stoves since the last update we sent this past May.
Thank you! Thank you! And…Thank you!
As you may remember from our last progress report, EcoLogic expanded its fuel-efficient stove program to include the region of Sarstún, Guatemala. Together with our partners, the Maya Association for the Rural Wellbeing of the Sarstún Region (APROSARSTUN) and the local Fisherfolk Association, we completed construction of 42 wood-saving stoves in three remote villages (accessible only by boat) along the Sarstún River in the first quarter of the year. Because the demand for these stoves in this area was (and is) overwhelmingly high, we assisted our partner, APROSARSTUN, in successfully raising additional funds to build another 35 stoves! Now, 77 families are benefitting from a healthier lifestyle. Plus, there is less demand for firewood, alleviating the strain on surrounding forests.
In Totonicapán Guatemala, EcoLogic’s partner, The Association of the 48 Cantons, selected 30 families most in need of an EcoLogic fuel-efficient stove. These families received training on the construction and maintenance of the stoves and recently completed the installation of all 30 stoves. As part of EcoLogic’s approach, the recipients of a stove agree to plant and maintain trees as part of an overall reforestation effort and the participating families were given 100 native tree species of red and white pine to help reforest the adjoining 52,000-acre old-growth community forest. In the near term, EcoLogic plans to build another 18 stoves in Totonicapán. By the end of the year, families will be planting and tending a total of 4,800 trees.
Thanks so much for making this work possible. However, we still need to raise an additional $15,605! We have plans to construct 18 more fuel-efficient stoves in Totonicapán and another 75 in Huehuetenango in the next few months in villages located in hard-to-reach, rugged terrain. Please consider helping us meet this goal by passing this information along to your friends and urging them to support this work. Please stay tuned for more updates on our stove program…
EcoLogic cannot thank you enough for your support in helpig us make our fuel-efficient stove program a reality. Together we have raised $4,300 from 80 individuals who share our concern for the environment and for the well-being of rural communities living in poverty in Guatemala.
Because of the success of our stove project in Totonicapán and Huehuetenango, Guatemala, EcoLogic has expanded its stove program to include the work we do with our partner in the region of Sarstún. And, this year, EcoLogic has already completed the construction of 42 stoves in the Sarstún region of Guatemala with our partner, the Mayan Association of Rural Wellbeing (APROSARSTUN).
APROSARSTUN is a Guatemalan nonprofit comprised of local students from a school run by Ak' Tenamit ("New Village") who are trained in community development and sustainable tourism. Through this partnership, EcoLogic is building APROSARSTUN's ability to successfully protect forests and watersheds and contribute to better land management in the entire binational protected area.
Later this month we will be begin construction on an additional 50 stoves in Totonicapán with our partner, the Association of 48 Cantons (Consejo de Alcaldes de los 48 Cantones) and 40 in Huehuetenango with our partner, the Mancomunidad (Mancomunidad de Municipios Frontera del Norte).
High poverty levels and growth coupled with traditional subsistence practices puts immense pressure natural resources. The forests of Guatemala are witness to excessive felling, the expansion of agriculture, forest management practices. Rural are dependent upon wood and use fires to cook their food and heat their It is well-known that this results in of indoor air pollution causing a number health issues like, acute respiratory chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, and eye diseases.
Despite our progress and our success we still have a ways to go to reach our goal of $20,000. Please help us build awareness of EcoLogic's fuel-efficient stove program by passing this on to your friends and family - THANK YOU!
With your help we can make a a difference one family at a time, one community at a time.
Thanks to everyone for supporting our fuel-efficient stove project in Guatemala! So far, we have raised $4,190 through Global Giving.
Currently, EcoLogic is working with the Northern Border Municipalities Alliance, a group of five municipalities in northwestern Guatemala. In the community of Santa Maria Dolores in Ixcán, EcoLogic worked with the community to identify 48 families each of which has received the tools to build fuel-efficient stoves. The families were chosen because of their strong commitment to protecting forests and water. By using fuel-efficient stoves that reduce firewood use, these families are collectively saving over 575 trees and protecting over 2.75 acres of forest every year.
Trees are not only saved by the use of the stoves, but in addition, each family agreed to establish an agroforestry plot nearly half an acre in size. Agroforestry is an agricultural method which integrates trees and shrubs alongside crops. This in turn reduces soil erosion, provides a source of organic fertilizer from fallen leaves, maintains a healthy climate for crops, and creates a habitat for local pollinators. By creating these plots, these families provide themselves with firewood from trimming the branches of the trees and shrubs. In addition, agroforestry increases the yield of crops such as basic grains. Moreover, the natural benefits of trees reduce the time and labor required of farmers, freeing them to spend more time with their families and communities.
Alba Urizar, a recipient of a stove explained that at first, the community was able to get firewood from trees that grew right outside of their homes. Now, because they have cleared so much land, they walk for more than a half hour to get firewood. She also said that the traditional stoves “used a lot of firewood, the smoke is hurtful for the children and adults, and the women burned their hands when cooking.” Thanks to her new stove, Alba feels a renewed sense of energy in her life because she no longer breathes in harmful smoke or burns her hands.
It is rewarding to see the effects that fuel-efficient stoves are having not only on individual families but the community as a whole. We are excited to continue expanding the stove program in Santa Maria Dolores and in other areas as well. Thank you for making this work possible!
Once again, thanks to everyone who has supported EcoLogic’s fuel-efficient stove project in Guatemala! However, we still need your help in meeting our goal of $20,000. To date, we have been able to raise $3,855 through Global Giving but still have a ways to go.
Within the forest of Totonicapán, EcoLogic has started the process of selecting the communities that will receive a stove package, roughly 50 stoves per community. Our approach has been to look for key villages where neighboring areas can observe and understand the necessity of cleaner burning stoves for improving health and aiding environmental conservation. The work that has been accomplished thus far, has been in identifying those communities and the families that are willing to directly participate in stove construction, do not already possess a formal stove, and have arranged for impartial distribution of the materials to participating women.
At our home office, we have been able to secure a one-time $25,000 match to build an additional 200 stoves in Guatemala, bringing much needed relief to the families who suffer needlessly from smoke inhalation while having a greater impact on the region.
We look forward to the next phase in this process which involves securing the materials needed to build the stoves and transporting them to the selected areas. We will also be conducting workshops to train communities on stove construction and educating the women on the health and environmental benefits of fuel efficient stoves.
Did you know that, for every 10 families that receive a stove, 120 trees are preserved, saving more than .6 acres of forest per year?
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