Elba (41) lives with her husband, Jorge (46) , and their four children, Alvaro (23), Fredy (22), Cristian (21), and Rodman (18) in San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá. While Jorge and the children work in agriculture, Elba stays home and also waves traditional clothes for extra income.
As part of Habitat Guatemala’s Healthy Home Kit, families receive a smokeless stove, a sanitary latrine and a water filter, to help them improve their health by giving them adequate access to proper sanitation, potable water and a smoke free environment.
“I used to cook on an older stove with open flame that was broken for more than 10 years, causing me and my family to suffer from respiratory diseases.” She continues, “The new one is very pretty and working great! Now, there is no smoke inside our kitchen, it has plenty of space to cook all my meals at once, and we save wood at the same time! Elba has felt a difference in their health; no more eye irritation and respiratory diseases because the smoke no longer stays inside the kitchen.
Before receiving their new latrine, she explains that their old latrine was in poor conditions, “Now, it is more comfortable and pretty. ” The family has also felt a difference with their water filter. Before they had to boil it, and sometimes drank it directly form the sink, causing them pain from intestinal diseases. Now, it is easier and safer to drink potable water from the filter. “With the filter the water stays fresh and tastes good, when the boys come back from work, the first thing they do is come and drink a big glass of water” says Elba.
Elba refers to her time with the volunteers; “We felt happy the day they all came, we worked together and ate together too. They were hard workers. Here at the backyard was our goodbye ceremony, ” she continues, “Thanks to God and all of you for your support, thank you for coming to build with us. May God bless you and keep you safe.”