Smokeless Stove: Maricella Carr Ixlá

Maria Maricella, her husband Ronald and their son Wilmer live in El Rosario, Chimaltenango. They recently received a smokeless stove through Habitat. Their new stove includes a chimney that funnels the smoke out of house, allowing Maria, Ronald and Wilmer to enjoy each meal in a smoke-free environment.

Prior to having her new stove, Maria cooked on an open fire “pollo” stove. They experienced a lot of problems due to the smoke. The family suffered head aches and congestion “now it’s better and there isn’t any smoke, it heats the food well too” says Maria.

When asked her favorite food to cook on her new stove, she shared unwaveringly, that it is frijoles, “because it’s the food we like the most, it’s easy to cook on the new stove because the fire is less intense.”

Maria and her family send their thank you’s to the volunteers who came to help them build their stove and expressed her gratitude.

Ignacio Galvez Family

Maino Gálvez, his wife Sandra and daughters Dulce (24) y Sabrina (26) live in El Tejar, Chimaltenango. Sandra is a homemaker and Maino is a mechanic. Their eldest daughter, Dulce recently started a ministry “Changing the Generations” along with her husband. Their second daughter, Sabrina is a worship leader at the church. She writes, sings and plays both the piano and guitar.

Before living in their current house, they lived about one mile away. “We wanted more space for our family,” Sandra says. In their old house there wasn’t enough room for the family and with two adult children, they knew their daughters also needed space. “This house is a great joy and great blessing. We prayed a lot for a house and thanks to God now we have it.”

They’re especially grateful to the volunteers who came to build the house and they remember the group very well!

It’s the outside space of their house that has become a favorite for Maino and Sandra and they are especially grateful for the space they now have for a garden. Plants and flowers fill the front entrance to the home, and they hope to add more in the future. To the group who came to help them build they send thanks and gratitude for the change in their lives to now have their own home.

Smokeless Stove: María Teresa Toh

Maria Teresa and her family of seven live in Xesuj San Martin, Chimaltenango. Before receiving her smokeless stove, Maria Teresa cooked in a small room with an open fire stove, where the smoke would be trapped inside despite opening doors and a small window. Now, the chimney pipe of her new stove funnels the smoke out of the house.

With her new stove, Maria Teresa can cook more. She bake her tortillas on her stovetop and can cook multiple at one time because of the large space. More than anything, Maria enjoys making her daily frijoles, “they don’t fall over into the fire.” She remembers too how the fire from the old stove burned her clothes and remarks how the isolation of the fire on the new stove protects her from any exposure to the fire.

Maria Teresa expresses her genuine excitement for her new stove and her gratitude to the volunteers who came to build with them. “Thank you, I will never forget you all for helping us.”

Smokeless Stove: María Flora Mututz

Maria Flora and her family of six live in the village of Xesuj San Martin. She and her husband Wilson have two sons, Pedro Antonio and Carlos Alexander. Wilson’s mother, Ellie and brother, Romeo also live with the family. Almost one year ago, they moved into their current house and shortly after, received a smokeless stove, which they built together with a small group of volunteers.

The kindness of these volunteers is what Maria Flora remembers most and she says she has never forgotten them. When we asked what the greatest difference the stove had made in her life, she mentioned the lack of exposure to smoke, saying the smoke leaves the house very well and I haven’t had any problems (inhaling) it since.” It has changed her daily life because the food cooks a lot sooner.

She used to cook for five or six hours while doing other house chores because they were limited to a single fire. Now she has more of her day to do other things and to spend attentively with her children. Maria Flora expresses how grateful she is for this change and says the volunteers who came made it possible.

Smokeless Stove: Floridalma Estrada

Floridalma and her family of 4 live in Xesuj, San Martin, in Chimaltenango. They have lived in their house for 16 years. They recently received their smokeless stove, when a group of volunteers came to help them build. Before their current stove, Floridalma did not have a stove and cooked over an open flame “pollo” stove. The smoke from the open fire affected her lungs, her throat and caused coughing. Her new stove has helped a lot, she shared with us. Now, she saves wood and there’s much less heat.

Her favorite thing to cook with her new stove is chicken and rice with a tomato base and caldo, a traditional soup. Having her stove has changed her daily life. Now she can cook her meals quickly to do more things. One of the activities that fills Floridalma’s days is coffee harvesting and she showed us the coffee beans she produces for her family and sells to neighbors.

To the group of volunteers who came, Floridalma sends her thanks, smiling brightly. This stove has allowed her to do more and she is so thankful.