CHOICE Humanitarian Guatemala — 17 May 2010
Xalibe is breathing a little bit easier these days.
Romelia, like the rest of Xalibe, has always cooked for her family over an open fire in her home. With no ventilation, billows of smoke filled the small kitchen stinging the eyes and lungs of her family. The cooking fire located near the floor was within arm’s reach of small children learning to walk as well as the hem of her skirt as she made her way around the small kitchen. Severe burns from traditional cooking fires are not unusual nor are the constant respiratory problems that plague Xalibe families.

 

Romelia in her kitchen with her new stove.
Thanks to Spectrum Health, a company who supports this village, Romelia and other Xalibe villagers are now using O’Neil stoves which safely contains the fire and ventilates the harmful smoke out of the home. Romelia thinks her, “stove is magnificent. Now we can see. We don’t have so much smoke in our kitchen and throughout the house. Also, my children do not have any more lung problems.”

The use of the stove also eliminates the use of fire wood by 70% reducing the impact on the environment and the need to gather wood daily. Romelia wants to tell Spectrum Health, “Thank you for the stove because my children’s coughs are gone now and there is no more smoke.”

It is amazing how something as simple as a stove can dramatically change the lives of our friends in Xalibe. Thank you so much for your support and for removing the harmful smoke out of Xalibe kitchens.

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