Hands for Peacemaking Foundation intern Kate Atwell traveled to Buena Vista, Guatemala, to gather user testimonials from 38 families who have been using the new Aller Stoves since early July. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
Many women touted the time-saving benefits of the stove. Juana Pedro Lorenzo, the President of the Women’s Committee at Buena Vista, said: “In the past, I was running the stove close to the entire day; we had to maintain the fire because it would take time to heat up. Now, I have more time to make tablecloths and work at my store. I am investing more time in my small business!” Teresa Francisco similarly said: “I have my own land, so I can make progress working now that I have time.” Juan Juan De Francisco added, “I [used to] wake up at five in the morning to start cooking my tortillas and stayed in the kitchen almost the entire day. Now, everything cooks much faster.”
Users also talked about the efficiency of the stove. “I spend a lot less on wood,” said Eulalia Francisco Juan. “In the past, we spent two bars on wood; now, we spend less than half of that. We are saving Q40 [equivalent to a whole day’s worth of work] a week now.” Eulalia Juan Andres added, “My husband used to spend around 7.5 hours collecting wood after work each week. Now, he only spends half that time. He is very grateful now, because his time is abundant.”
The new stove is also much safer and more pleasant to use. “I no longer get smoke in my eyes,” said Teresa Francisco. Eulalia Francisco Juan added: “In the past, there was smoke in the kitchen, but now there is not. It is much better than what I had in the past.” Eulalia Valtasar Mateo also explained that “the Aller stove is much safer for my kids. The protector bars on the side prevent the children from getting burned. It was a lot more dangerous in the past, because coals from the fire would fall on the floor where children ran around.”
Finally, users were pleased with the stove’s appearance. “I love everything about the stove,” said Teresa Francisco, “Especially the tile. When I clean it, it looks so beautiful in my kitchen.”
We were so happy to find out how much the Aller stove, developed through a partnership between BDL and the Hands for Peacemaking Foundation, has changed people’s lives, and none of it would have been possible without you, our supporters and donors!
By Kate Atwell