Maria and Oscar live with their two sons Wilfredo (12) and Ervin Elias (9) in the village of El Rejon Sumpango. Maria is a homemaker while Oscar takes care of the family’s farm while their sons are enrolled in school. They’ve lived in their current house for 12 years and just 6 months ago, they received a new smokeless stove through Habitat. Maria’s favorite feature of the stove is its space, because she can cook a lot of things at once.
“When its only one stove, you can only cook one thing at a time, you can’t do more than that.” “A lot of things I owned were ruined, most of my things the smoke turned yellow” She demonstrated soot left on walls in the house and talked about how the fire from the old stove would char the walls, melted some of her utensils and turned others with a yellowish color. Now, with her new stove, she no longer has to inhale smoke fumes, and her utensils no longer melt from the fire.
When asked her favorite thing to cook on her new stove, “frijoles” she says, “it doesn’t spill into the fire like before.” The high temperature from the former stove, made it hard to control the heat causing the beans would boil over. Now with the new stove, the fire is evenly conducted, and the beans are easy to cook without bubbling over and spilling out of the pot. She shared how thankful she is for the volunteers who came to build her stove, the volunteers, she says “they gave me something that makes my daily life, much more manageable.”