Smokeless Stoves: Simbiona Chulca Cajcaj

When she isn’t busy weaving, Simbiona Chulca Cajcaj (37) spends most of her day cooking meals for her husband and two daughters. Her house is split into two spaces; one room perches on the top of a hill while the other room slopes downward. In this space, she has prepared hot meals for over twenty years.

Simbiona’s previous stove stands in the corner, a quiet reminder for what used to be. “Our other stove was old, about twenty years or so. And it was small. It didn’t have a lot of problems, but there was always smoke coming out of it and filling the room.”

Her kitchen is now smoke-free, allowing her six-year-old daughter, Selena, to focus on her homework without being bothered by the fumes. Simbiona reflects that since building the stove, their household no longer has to spend a fortune on firewood. “Instead, we can give more food to our children so that they can grow and develop.”

Simbiona has a special message for the international group that came to help build her stove: “We send you our warmest greetings and hugs. May you continue with a happy life, thank you for the stove. You have given us so much support with this project.”