Smokeless Stove: Marta Hotec

Marta Lydia Hotec lives with her in-laws Maria Nastasia Colon and Valdino Toc along with her three daughters, Maria Dolores (10), Maria Juanita (6) and Maria Pilar (1 year). Marta is a homemaker, while her husband works to provide for the family. For the past 11 years, they’ve cooked with an open fire “pollo” stove.

The fire would burn her clothes and the smoke and soothe would char the walls.  “Now with this stove,” she says, “it doesn’t burn the pots and it doesn’t burn my clothes.” It’s changed our daily life too. “Before there was only one fire and I could only cook only one thing at a time. After the main meal, I’d make the tortillas, then the café or atoll – now I can make 4 or 5 things at once on the new stove.” Marta continues, “Before I would spend an hour cooking one item, but now, it takes twenty minutes to do each one (simultaneously). Now with more time, I can do more things.”

When asked about the group who came to build with her family she says, “more than anything I want to give my thanks that God who allowed them to come to our benefit; because, here, a group hasn’t come like this and to offer this blessing. In a place like this, sickness has affected us and for each of us to have the opportunity to have something like this—now we now don’t have to live with the smoke. We’re very happy.”