Ramona and José Meletz live in a village in rural Sololá. She and her husband support their ten children by making and selling crafts; José weaves and Ramona makes jewelry.
Before building their new smokeless stove, the Bocel Meletz family used an old stove made of adobe blocks. The main issues with the old stove was that it filled the kitchen area with smoke and that it was very easy for the children to burn themselves on the stove. The family members had continual problems with throat irritation and pneumonia. Ramona and José´s daughter, now twenty-three years old, also suffered a serious burn when she was younger but fortunately was able to recover.
Fortunately, the new stove has remedied some of these issues and has created a kitchen space free of smoke for the family to cook.
The family remembered the volunteers fondly–they said that everyone worked hard, both the men and the women. They noted that the volunteers knew how to work as a team, a part of their culture they appreciated. José especially remembers one of the volunteers who is studying to be a teacher and how she taught the children songs they still remember.
José has these words to share with the group: “First of all, thank you and may God bless you greatly. You are part of our family and community and we send our greetings!”