Healthy Home Kits: Santos Erlinda Pérez

Herlinda, her husband Santos and their three children, Alvina (10), Andy (8), and Edison ( 2) live in Solola. The family rented a home for many years before moving to their current home, built adjoint to her brother-in-law’s home. Herlinda’s home is made of blocks, it is much improved from their prior home, and it allows the family to save money to one day build a home of their own.

Just recently, the family received a healthy home kit from Habitat. Prior to her new stove, Herlinda cooked on a bote, a wood small stove with a grill. “Before I could only cook one thing at a time because there was little space. Now everything cooks much faster.” She continues, “with the stove before, it took a long time. I would cook the tortillas, add another piece of wood, cook my coffee add another piece of wood and after each one, I’d add another wood.” “Now, I can cook my coffee, tortillas, frijoles and my soup with just two or three pieces of wood.”

Herlinda says another downside to her old stove was the affect it had on her health. “Before I would cough a lot. I often felt like I was choking and after cooking, I would have a headache. A lot of tears were cried using the old stove,” Herlinda shared. “Right now, this new stove is much better because there is not any smoke. It heats everything—my coffee, soup, all my tortillas, and all of the smoke leaves the kitchen,” she says.

Herlinda also received a  water filter and a latrine as part of her Healthy Home kit. With her new water filter, Herlinda says “the water that we drink now is healthier. Before we would catch water from outside and it sometimes had trash in it. Now the water we drink and is safer.” “What difference has the latrine made in your lives?” We asked Herlinda. “The difference is now we have one,” she says. “Before we would have to bother my brother-in-law to use their bathroom. Now we do not have to bother anyone. Our lives are much better.”

Herlinda remembers the group of volunteers who came to build very well. “When they came to build my stove they were very happy. Everyone came together here on the patio, we had lunch together and we were happy.  I always remember the day that they came, because my family came as well and it was a very joyous time.”

“I am grateful to them for this help, we are sincerely grateful from our hearts. We hope that God would bless you for offering this help because this help has benefited us. Now we don’t bother anyone, now the things we have are our own” Herlinda says.