Help prevent deforestation and negative health effects in Guatemala through high-efficiency cookstoves!
In the Lake Atitlan Basin of Guatemala, the majority of cooking is still done using Mayan three-stone hearths. This inefficient and outdated method of cooking consumes huge amounts of firewood and is the main cause of deforestation in the surrounding mountains as well as negatively impacting the waters of the lake. Obtaining the necessary firewood is a major expense for families; both in money and time spent procuring firewood. Open fires are the cause of widespread respiratory and ocular problems, especially for mothers and children who spend the most time in the smoke-filled kitchen. Open-hearth fires can often result in burns to children who fall into them. Entire communities are covered in dense blue clouds of wood smoke during the morning and afternoon hours of food preparation, contributing to the CO2 pollution of the planet's atmosphere.
Tui'k Ruch' Lew (Helping the Earth) implements the use of energy-efficient cook stoves to combat these problems. It is estimated that a family using the stove saves one tree per month. The program includes four home visits per stove in the first year to ensure their appropriate siting, installation, correct usage and resolution of any problems. Annual visits are scheduled to maintain the stoves, with replacement parts available and installed. These durable stoves have a minimum of fifteen years usage saving a total of 180 trees and absorb 13 tons of carbon dioxide. In addition, the families are educated about the value of forests, the dangers of indoor and outdoor smoke pollution and the effect of deforestation on the lake waters.
You can help. Tui'k Ruch' Lew has a goal of installing 20 stoves per month - a total of $3,360 - which over the life of the stoves will save 3,600 trees and sequester 260 tons of carbon dioxide! Help meet this goal by providing a custom donation!
Tui'k Ruch' Lew (Helping the Earth) is a registered Guatemalan NGO created to implement solutions to environmental health hazards threatening people living in the Lake Atitlan drainage basin. As such, they focus on solutions which protect the environment while resolving physical or economic health issues facing community members.
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