Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Safe Stoves Meeting Kicks Off a New Stove Cycle!


What a great day we had on Wednesday, January 23th! Nine new participant families of the Safe Stove Project came to the Pop Wuj Spanish School and were greeted by Carmen, Roney and all the coordinators and facilitators.  We had a short talk about maintenance and care of their new stoves as well as a presentation by two students about the health and environmental risks of open fires.

Christina, a medical student and volunteer at Pop Wuj’s clinic, discussed the main diseases caused by the smoke of an open fire, like lung cancer, other respiratory illnesses, cataracts, etc.  Genny, a fuel engineer and an immersion student at Pop Wuj, spoke about the efficiency of the stoves with a focus on the environmental problems caused by the open fires. 

Some of the women who are participating in the Safe Stove Project talked about their own experiences with open fires and the immediate effects, like coughing and breathing problems, as well as the other more long-term effects that they have experienced.  A safe stove is needed in all of the families’ cases, however there was a particular case that struck us the most.  An elderly woman, already suffering from years of exposure to smoke, has developed cataracts in her left eye.  As sad as it is, we are glad to know that we will be there with her, building a stove, so that soon she will be cooking in a smoke-free kitchen. 

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