Cooking shouldn’t have deadly consequences.  

Why we care: Thousands of Guatemalan women and children die every year from the negative health impacts of cooking daily meals over inefficient, open fires.

How we’re solving this: We build clean cookstoves that eliminate up to 80% of toxic smoke that kills women and children. Let’s give 100 of them to women in rural Guatemala.

Trees, Water & People, along with our partners La Asociación de Forestería Comunitaria de Guatemala Ut’z Che’, has developed stoves that use up to 70% less wood than traditional open fires and save an average of 1.5 tons of carbon emissions per year. The technology behind these cookstoves is simple, very low-maintenance, and produced efficiently by local people, using local materials.

In Guatemala, more than 70% of the country’s 14 million people are dependent on wood to cook every meal. Women and young children suffer regularly from respiratory diseases due to high exposure to toxic indoor air pollution and can spend up to one third of their income on frequent doctor visits and medication. This toxic smoke contributes to Guatemala’s short life expectancy of 69 years – the lowest in Central America.

Guatemala also experiences the greatest gender disparities of any Central American country, as measured by primary school attendance and literacy rates of women compared to men. Providing rural families with clean cookstoves will significantly decrease the amount of time required for the collection of firewood, allowing children, especially girls, to take greater advantage of important educational opportunities.

Our clean cookstove projects create jobs, save families money on daily fuel costs, improve the health of women and children, and decrease deforestation rates. Together, let’s make a difference in the lives of women and their families in rural Guatemala.