“Gracias a Diós la estufa funciona bien!” says María Alejandra about the new smokeless stove she now uses. Translated to English, this means, “Thanks to God, my stove works well!” She continues: “It works well with a little bit of wood and now I cook in fresh air!” María says that she takes good care of her stove, which means that it will function well for years to come. “Every 15 days I clean out the stove and I wash all the burners too.”
María Alejandra and her husband, who works in the nearby fields growing crops, have four children who are 9, 7, 5 and 2. Her two oldest children attend school, while she cares for the younger ones. “Right now we don’t have our own home.”, says María. Because of this, they live with María’s parents and three siblings, who also work in the fields.
In El Rejón, Habitat Guatemala works with a local volunteer named Margarita to find families in need of a new stove, lead trainings on how to build and maintain the stoves, and learn about what the needs of the community are so that future projects can be planned to continue improving life in El Rejón. This is how María family accessed their smokeless stove.
María laughs as she talks about the process of building her stove was like: “I told my husband I wanted a stove! He did the work and built the adobe blocks; it was easy for me! Sometimes people say we will have an opportunity and it doesn’t happen. Thanks to God this did!”