During week 5 of our Giving Tuesday campaign we discussed the need for smokeless stoves in Guatemala.
Guatemalan families that cook over open fires are constantly breathing in smoke and consuming great amounts of firewood. Most affected are Guatemala’s most vulnerable populations because only the poorest families utilize this cooking method with women and small children, who spend more time in the home, as the ones suffering most from chronic respiratory problems and burns. Starting in 2011, Habitat Guatemala established the project Small Change, Giant Leap with the goal of installing 17,000 smokeless stoves in five years. The stoves are built from adobe blocks with a pipe to carry out the harmful smoke. The multiple-burner metal stove top allows women to dedicate more time to other tasks and to income generation. These improved stoves have other advantages too, including an easy-to-learn assembly process, and faster cooking times that can reduce firewood use by up to 50%.