Josefina (36), mother of two children, Axel (9) and Dayana (4) and proud owner of a Healthy Home Kit, has lived in this community of Cienaga Grande, Sololá her entire life. She cares for her house while her husband, Dani, is away working at a major farm down the road. Since she was a girl, Josefina has used a stove to support her family.
However, like most women in Guatemala, Josefina has used an ineffective and dangerous stove for decades. When asked about her previous stove, she recalls the many issues with its construction. “Our old stove was crooked, and because of that, a lot of smoke would come out and flood the house. The smoke would also stay in the house, and it was impossible to air out our rooms when that happened.” Access to clean air was also out of the question. “The stove always affected our health; we couldn’t breathe at all inside our house.”
After receiving materials to build a new stove, Josefina’s family has already witnessed several positive economic and health changes. “Since building the stove, we have cut back a lot on paying for wood. Now, we only need a little to heat up the entire grill and to cook our food. We can put three or four pots on top and cook for the entire family. For every two pieces of wood, that’s four pots of food for a whole family.”
Josefina also notes that the water filter and latrine have contributed to a change in routine. Rather than boiling her water, she can readily access the supply in her filter and doesn’t have to worry about falling ill from waterborne diseases. She is also pleased with her family’s latrine, which is made of stone blocks and wooden beams. “Since building the latrine, we feel happier and cleaner. The air is pure, and we have a private space where there wasn’t one before.”
When asked about the group that came to build the stove and latrine, Josefina answers. “We had a great time sharing with all the volunteers, we worked together, had lunch too and took photos. We thank all of them for their support and wish them well.”