Healthy Home Kit: Ruby Pérez

Ruby lives with her husband Manuel and their son Manuel (6), in a small community in San Lucas Tolimán.  Manuel works as a mason and Ruby has a small grocery shop in their house.

“I used to cook on an old stove that was in bad shape; I learned about Habitat Guatemala’s Healthy Home Kit project and we decided to try it,” explains Ruby. A few months later, she is delighted with the stove. “I feel happy, it is very efficient.” Because the stove heats up easily and has a wide surface, she can simultaneously grill her tortillas and prepare beans for lunch.

Thanks to the design of the smokeless stove of Habitat for Humanity Guatemala, Ruby and her family are no longer affected from issues with smoke fumes. They used to cough and suffer from irritated eyes. Now, she can cook without any fear that her son will have health problems. Moreover, because the stove is low-consuming for firewood, Ruby doesn’t need to buy as many logs as before. The smokeless stove allows her to save some money and to spend it on other everyday expenses, especially food.

The water filter has also improved the health of her entire family. Ruby notes that her family no longer suffers from stomach pains. She also has found that the taste of the water is different, but better.

In addition, the latrine has improved living conditions for Ruby’s family and is now a cleaner, healthier environment. In part, this is also due to the fact that only Ruby, her husband, and her son use it. With the previous latrine, they had to share one with around ten other relatives.

When she is asked about the group that came to help her family, a smile appears on Ruby’s face. She is proud to say that they built the stove together. “They were really nice people, they played with my son and we shared good memories.”

Above all, Ruby is grateful to the group of international volunteers that helped build her stove and latrine. “I thank the volunteers for their support and their work. All these products have been really useful for me and my family, I am very grateful to all.”