Anabela (29) and her children, Karla ( 16, Berli (10) and Jeymi (8) have a daily ritual. Together, they will congregate in the kitchen to prepare three meals for their family. For a long while, Anabela says, their cooking equipment was far from ideal. The family stove, decades old, was falling apart. “There were a lot of problems with the bottom and the grill,” she explains. “The old one was made out of dirt and was very, very small. It used way too much wood.”
She cites that the old stove posed many health problems for her family. “Because of the smoke, we had a lot of lung issues, and we always burned ourselves.”
Since Habitat Guatemala volunteers built her new stove, Anabela is thrilled with the results. Excitedly, she explains that, “The new one uses less wood, is easy to use, and doesn’t let off as much smoke.”
A new stove is not the only thing Anabela have benefited from. As part of Habitat Guatemala´s Healthy Home Kit Program, they were also latrine and water filter recipients. Anablea cites that the new latrine is a great improvement. “Our old latrine was made of bamboo rods. It didn’t offer a lot of privacy and was farther away from the house,” she says. “The new one is made well. It’s dry, easy to use. There aren’t any problems with smell or with sturdiness.”
As for water? Since switching to a water filter, Anabela has noticed that her family’s health has measuredly improved. Before, all five of them suffered from daily stomach problems, mainly to using a tinaja, or a large earthenware jug that is commonly used to store liquids in rural areas of Guatemala. Anabela also doesn’t have to boil water anymore and is happy with the facility of using a filter.
When asked about the group that came to build the stove and latrine, Anabela face brightens. “We thank you so much for your support. We hope that you continue to help serve families like ours. Thank you.”