María Hernández – Smokeless Stove CRS

María Hernández, her husband Juan, and their four children have lived in the community of Pulay, Quiché for their whole life. María cares for her house while her husband works in the fields nearby.  

Thanks to the support of Catholic Relief Services, Catalina was a beneficiary from the CLD Project, where Habitat Guatemala is providing assistance to over 500 families in different rural communities with a U’k’ux’já Smokeless Stove. This is a specially designed stove to reduce indoor smoke and protect the environment as it saves on wood consumption. Prior to receiving a new stove, María cooked over an open flame for her family on the floor of her home. The smoke would fill their home, making it difficult for her young children to breathe. Now, she has a safe space to prepare food and doesn’t have to worry about her children getting burnt. Another benefit of the stove is that it consumes approximately 50% less wood, a scarce resource for Guatemalans, which reduces their weekly expenses. María likes the design of the stove, because it gives her enough space to cook meals and have her children eating around it. 

Since switching to a water filter, María has noticed that her family’s health has improved. Previously, all six of them suffered from daily stomach problems. Before, María and her family had to collect water using a tinaja, or a large earthenware jug that is commonly used to store liquids in rural areas of Guatemala. She also saves time and money as she doesn’t have to boil water. 

Maria would like to send a final message to the donors: “We are very grateful to you all for your support and for providing us with this stove that improves our health. I am sending you a big hug from my family and community”. – María Hernández.