Notes from the Field
What an exciting time we had in Guatemala! Fuego, the resident volcano, put on quite a show for the 16 volunteers who worked hard at the EcoComal stove factory last month. They filled cement stove bodies with pumice and brick so they could be delivered to residents of San Miguel Dueñas and Alotenango.
Volunteers worked with the directors of the women’s cooperatives to identify families in both communities. Once there, they visited an elderly homeless couple each one unable to move from a wheelchair. They live in the corner of a dirt floor greenhouse with their 50 year-old son who cooks and cares for them. Another woman, also in a wheelchair, lives with her 12 year-old daughter in another simple dirt home. The young girl collects the firewood, bathes, dresses and feeds her mother, thus does not have time to go to school.
Many of the people in Alotenango are illiterate and have to sign the stove receipt with a thumbprint.
These are the people you are helping – women and families with no access to medical treatment, no access to schooling or employment. Because of YOU and your donations of new stoves, their lives will be easier. Thank you for supporting StoveTeam International.
StoveTeam facilitates ongoing factory improvements in Nicaragua
E'Copan factory owners, Anibal Murcia and Rosanna Berganza, visited the Avanza Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua to provide valuable technical, financial and sales assistance to this burgeoning business. This was the second and final consultation facilitated by StoveTeam with support from the Springfield Rotary and 19 other Rotary clubs, Grace Lutheran Church, and The Rotary Foundation.
Avanza Factory staff, Elida Olivas and Marvin Rivera, spent four days with Anibal and Rossana strategizing growth opportunities, making plans for increased production, and learning financial tracking skills.
The Avanza factory opened its doors in Fall 2016, and the brightly colored Ecocina is growing in popularity among locals. One of their strengths, as noted by Anibal, is the factory’s dedication to raising awareness in Esteli and surrounding communities. The Avanza team has made television appearances and has been featured on popular radio broadcasts. They have partnered with aid agencies, churches and several other organizations to make cookstoves a reality for those in need.
StoveTeam is proud to report that the Avanza factory is well on its way to filling a critical need in Nicaragua.
VOICES community supports 50+ women in Guatemala
“The 50x50 Campaign was something I brought to the subscribers of the VOICES Lecture Series in Portland knowing it was achievable and relatable. Women supporting women is in line with my values as well as so many of the women I network and do business [with].”
These are the words of Francine Read, founder of VOICES, INC., and the VOICES Lecture Series in Portland, Oregon. The multi-evening series has featured the world’s most interesting women. Francine was moved by StoveTeam’s efforts to provide women with lifesaving cookstoves that prevent respiratory ailments and burns. In collaboration with StoveTeam, the 50x50 Campaign was launched after Annie Giffiths of Ripple Effect Images presented a program about open fire cooking and its disproportionate impact on women and girls. This campaign asked 50 donors to support 50 women and their families by each making a $50 donation to provide a cookstove. The support was overwhelming and you have helped us surpass our goal! Thank you, Francine and the VOICES community for stepping up to help women in need.