Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stove Donations Vital in Preventing Deforestation in Guatemala

Stove Donation (before assembly) with wood pile
I rarely link to other articles about issues in Guatemala. I know our readers have other more pressing issues than reading lengthy publications about problems in another country. I'm making an exception with this article, since it validates concerns our board members have had about deforestation in Guatemala. We see it first hand when we visit our Finding Freedom through Friendship mothers, and see the large stacks of freshly chopped wood. We hear the fatigue in the voices of the women and children who spend many hours a week walking into the woods and harvesting trees. We see valuable income going to purchase firewood if a woman is too elderly to chop her own. Every year I visit Guatemala, I am struck by how denuded the hills are, often to make room for scrappy crops of corn that occupies every vacant hillside that used to be full of trees.
Catarina is shown in front of her wood pile. Once her donated stove was assembled, Catarina's needs for wood decreased by 60%. Wood efficient stoves are a vital resource toward reducing the need for freshly harvested wood in rural Guatemala.