Smokeless Stoves: The Simalaj Family

“My new stove works so well–it cooks my tortillas fast and they turn out well!”, Carolina Simalaj explains. “My old stove burned food, used much more wood, and created a lot of smoke. The smoke bothered my eyes while I was cooking.”

Carolina lives with her husband Isaias and their three sons: 5 year old Peter, 3 year old Christian, and 1 year old Ivan in Sololá. They are Healthy Home Kit beneficiaries and in addition to a new smokeless stove, they also now have a sanitary latrine and a water filter.

The family is also very happy to have a water filter. 95% of water in Guatemala is contaminated which leads to a variety of parasites and illnesses. “Before we had a water filter our stomachs hurt often,” Carolina says. With a water filter, this is no longer an issue and Carolina is happy that her boys no longer have to experience stomach pain as a result of drinking contaminated water.

Christian, age 3, and Peter, age 5, with their new sanitary latrine.

“The new latrine is much more comfortable; it’s clean and healthy.”, continues Carolina. The old latrine, shown below, was made of sugar cane stalk and various cloth materials. Now, the family has a stable structure made from wood and metal that provides protection from the elements. This is especially important during Guatemala’s rainy season, during which it rains heavily for several hours a day.

Carolina also wants to thank the volunteers who supported her family by volunteering to build the latrine and stove. “Thank you for your support!” she concludes.