The spring season and holidays such as Easter often bring feelings of renewal and abundance. To celebrate this, many of us are probably preparing to gather around the table for a special family dinner. Although holidays and traditions vary throughout the world, meals are central to cultural and community identity. As delicious as the food is and heartwarming the company, anyone who is involved in the preparation of these meals knows how much work it can be! And yet, not all people have access to technologies that can make meal preparation safer and more efficient.
For the people of the Sarstún region in Guatemala, using an open fire in their house to cook is commonplace. This region, near the Gulf of Mexico, is home to indigenous Mayan families. It is very remote, accessible only by boat, and residents generally do not have electricity.
S.H.A.R.E., in partnership with the Guatemalan non-profit APROSARSTUN, provided 152 EcoStoves to families in the Sarstún region, between 2019 and 2022, as a part of their Family and Land 3-year program. They even had to be brought in by boat! These enclosed EcoStoves exhaust smoke out the roof through a metal chimney, thereby improving air quality and protecting people from potential burns. They are also more efficient, reducing the amount of wood that needs to be harvested.
One of S.H.A.R.E.’s principles is that those who benefit from a project somehow help others or “pass on” benefits. The first four communities who received EcoStoves committed themselves to create tree nurseries with 22,000 native Laurel and Santa Maria lumber trees. These trees will be used to reforest 30 acres of degraded forests, further combatting deforestation and soil erosion.
It is S.H.A.R.E.’s mission to share our knowledge and abundance with others so they can in turn help more people. By providing EcoStoves to the people of Sarstún, Guatemala we aim to make cooking, a task crucial to daily life, a little more convenient. Happy Easter! Happy Spring!