Greg Johnson returned from a week in Guatemala yesterday and today joined his classmate Stan for a round of golf and a debriefing. Greg and his church group regularly go high into the Central America mountains to build cook stoves for impoverished Mayan families. It is hot, dirty work a mile above sea level, but after a week of this, Greg was still fresh enough to run up an impressive string of pars on the comfortable Creeksbend track.
Here's a rationale of the cook stove project from a website on the subject.
"Globally, nearly three billion people use polluting, inefficient stoves or open flames to cook their food. Exposure to cooking fire smoke kills approximately two million people worldwide every year.
|Click for Photo credit|
"In Guatemala, as in many other countries, breathing in the toxic fumes while preparing tortillas and frijoles puts Mayan women and children at risk for respiratory illnesses, blindness and burns on a daily basis. It is estimated that 77% of Guatemalan families use wood as their main fuel source. 2% of Guatemala’s forests are lost annually, mainly due to the need for fuel for cooking fires. Precious family resources and time are spent on gathering or purchasing wood.
"The Guatemala Stove Project helps alleviate these problems by building vented stoves that are adapted to Mayan cooking methods. These stoves are made of cement blocks on the outside and fire-bricks inside, filled with sand and pumice for insulation and held together by mortar. The design of the firebox can reduce wood consumption and pollution by about 50%. The ‘plancha’ or stove-top is made of shiny, bright steel. It is an ‘improved cooking stove’ and while most of us would find it rudimentary, Mayan women much prefer it to cooking on the floor over an open fire."
|Photo by Pierre Fortier|