The majority of people in rural Nicaragua cook over an open fire. This leads to illness from breathing in smoke and being exposed to high temperatures, as well as burns in children. It also is one of the principal causes of deforestation. In 2017, we installed 40 improved wood stoves in the homes of rural families. Each family was part of a year-long program in which they planted trees to use for their own firewood consumption and attended workshops on the division of labor in the family.
The new stoves were designed by a Nicaraguan engineer who, using his knowledge of the local context, perfected his model through trial and error over many years. They are completely insulated and ventilated, and use a fraction of the firewood that is needed for an open fire. Acceptance of the new technology was wildly successful, and families have seen health improvements and reduction in firewood consumption.
We are currently completing 20 more stoves, and we dream of a day when every home in San Ramón has one! If you are interested in supporting this project, please contact us!