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!
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