Smokeless Stoves: Delia Landalina Ambrosio

As an artisan, Delia (24) specializes in weaving beautiful xuipils, or traditional blouses worn by Guatemalan women. She has a work station set up in her home, complete with a loom and varying colored threads that she dyes herself. The work also allows her to keep an eye on her youngest, most rambunctious children, four-year-old Milady and one-year-old Diego and make sure that they don’t get into trouble.

Delia is relieved that she doesn’t have to worry one danger: her children burning themselves on an unsafe cooking stove. “The wood used to fall out of our old stove, and it would burn them,” she recalls. The previous stove had other problems as well. “We used to have thick clouds of smoke in the house. And it used so much wood. We had to buy a lot. And it was so expensive. About 60Q (about $8.50) for each batch of wood, which would last only 4-5 days.”

When Habitat for Humanity Guatemala presented the opportunity to build an affordable, safe cooking stove through its Healthy Home Kit program, Delia became immediately interested. Her father and father in law pitched in to cut blocks. Then, their family worked with international volunteers to build the stove together.

Since the project’s completion, Delia is pleased with how the new stove has made a difference in her family’s life. She says that, “there are no problems, it works well now. We can cook a little bit more than before.” More importantly, the new stove has allowed her to save a little bit of money for her children. “Any extra money we save, we use to buy more food so our children can grow.”

Delia is grateful for the group, and she wants to thank you the group for their hard work: “We thank you very much for coming and building the stove. It works beautifully, and it works well because of you.”