Monday, February 15, 2010

Building Stoves

While investigating a nearby Spanish school´s social projects, we met Dave and Kathy of Canada.  They have been working on and off in Guatemala for 3 years now building stoves in rural communities.  Maddie and I jumped at the chance to help, as we realized that would be a great way to gain entrance into the communities we were building in.

These stoves are better for two reasons..
1) Cooking doesn't fill their homes with smoke (see vertical metal pipe in picture 3).
2) It uses half the firewood which equals less work and less tree chopping.

There are three stages to the production of each new stove.  Building them consists of cement mixing, playing with mud and bricks, and learning so much useful information no one bothered to teach me in school. Also, it reminds me of my days in Ecuador.. sigh.

This past Friday we took a bus to Pacaxjoj to finish 3 stoves.

This is a completed stag 2 stove, and where our work started on Friday.

Here we are filling in the center with pre-soaked bricks.  The bricks must first be soaked or else they will absorb all the moisture from the wet cement.  We later filled in the crevasses with clay since it is more heat-resistant than cement.

Families can choose to cover their stoves with tile, but they must purchase those independently.  Here is our team after completing the final stage!  This stove will be ready to cook on in 3 weeks, once the clay and cement have dried.

Finally, the family with their new stove!

I always knew the way into a person´s heart was through their stomach...


  1. Great stuff! Google "world bank indoor air pollution" to read about how important these stoves are. Sorry.. couldn't post the link for some reason.