Monday, May 19, 2014

Safe Stoves: Fifteen New Families Will Receive Safe Stoves

Over the last few weeks Carmen de Alvarado, the Pop Wuj Social Projects and Social Work Program director, staff, and coordinators have been conducting in-home interviews for the Safe Stove Project.  The interview includes basic demographic information, family health and education details, as well as more open-ended questions about why a family wants a safe stove.

Before photo

Before Photo

Before Photo

Fifteen families from Llanos del Pinal have been selected to join the new stove group.  Many of these families also participate in Pop Wuj's Nutrition Program, thus they have babies and small children in the home.

Carmen welcomes the new group to Pop Wuj.

On Wednesday May 14th, community members came to Pop Wuj for the stove group meeting.  We met for several hours, discussing the health risks of open fires/smoke exposure, the environmental consequences of deforestation, cultural and historical aspects, and the logistical details of stove building.

Mynor discusses how the stove is built and the families' responsibilities.

Roney talks about cultural aspects and historical factors.

Respiratory illness is the leading cause of death in Guatemala (CDC).  Much of the respiratory illness can be attributed to regular exposure to open fires in the home.  Mothers and children are thus disproportionally affected by respiratory illness in Guatemala.

We talked about how safe stoves reduce smoke exposure, use far less firewood than an open fire, and reduce the incidence of accidental burns.  Some of our group members have suffered burns and many others have health problems associated with smoke inhalation.

Pop Wuj Medical Spanish students explain health problems that result from smoke exposure.

The Pop Wuj Medical Spanish students also addressed the problem of burning plastic.  Generally there is no waste management in rural Guatemala.  Llanos del Pinal is no exception.  Most families give organic waste to the livestock and burn the rest of the trash.  This trash includes plastic bags, bottles, and containers.  As such, adults and children are breathing in the fumes from the plastic.

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