The Burlington Rotary Y.E.S. Team is partnering with villagers from Rios Espiritu to install 60 Aler stoves in their village.
Rio Espiritu was established in 1982. The village is located 17.5 miles from Barillas downtown and it takes 1 ½ hours to get there. Rio Espiritu was formed with families of the surrounding area that decided to get together and form the village to be able to request a project, and look for their progress. The same year the villagers decided to build a school with a lot of efforts and lack of resources. Villagers requested a teacher, which was beneficial to the whole village.
The climate in Rio Espiritu is warm, and has 80 families and a population of 400 people. The village has a school in good condition, with 107 students and a projection of 115 students for 2017. There is electricity and running water in the school. Three people from the village of Rio Espiritu have graduated from the school as teachers.
Villagers make about $4.67 for a day of work, and villagers estimate a monthly income of just $80.00 per family. They grow cardamom and corn, and also raise some chickens and pigs to be able to support their families. Some people leave their homes to the Ixcan area, and others to the United States looking for job opportunities.
The village has running water, and 90% of the families have the service. Also they have electricity, and 80% of the families have the service. However, most of the families still cook on open fires. Villagers have to walk from long distances, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, to be able to collect firewood. For those villagers that have to purchase their firewood, they can spend as much as $40.00 a month which accounts for 50% of their meager income.