Youth Council 2012 Abroad Project:
Masonry Stoves for Guatemalan Villages
“B”-ing the change we want to see…
- Burns & Breathing - In Guatemalan children under age 5, approximately 300,000 burn deaths and 2.2 million deaths caused by acute respiratory infections occur each year due to traditional open fires used for cooking and heating the home. Sixty percent of deaths caused by respiratory infections are associated with poor in-door air quality owing to wood burning from open fires in confined spaces inside the home. Women and children’s respiratory health and vision are negatively impacted by the constant smoke from the open fires.
- Bringing Down of Forests - Between 1990 and 2005, Guatemala lost 17% of its total forest cover and deforestation rates have increased by nearly 13 percent since the close of the 1990s. A percentage of this is due to fuel wood collection.
- Barriers to Opportunities - Many of our youth lack the resources and access to experience the larger world community first-hand. Some have not traveled outside California. Without an empowering experience such as this they are unable to fully comprehend their ability to be a change maker for the environment, their community, and themselves.
Rising Sun sent 10 youth to build fuel-efficient, cleaner burning stoves for 9 Guatemalteco families. The advantages of these stoves are:
- Bettering Guatemalan Health: The new ventilated masonry stoves cut down on the amount of smoke and carbon dioxide in the home and environment by 70% to 90%, reducing acute respiratory disease and improving air quality in the home and health of local families. The number of burns is reduced to nearly 100%.
- Benefiting the Environment: The masonry stoves lower carbon emissions, decrease local deforestation and reduce the presence of carbon monoxide inside the home. The stoves are made of brick, cinder blocks and cement, equipped with a chimney to vent smoke outside of the home
- Building up Our Youth: This year’s Youth Council is a diverse group of young people who have dedicated their time and energy to improving their own local communities. Working on this life saving project and giving back allows our youth to open up their worldview and perspective. We believe in the power of service learning and know that being empowered on a global scale will vastly enhance their abilities to affect change for the greater good and inspire them to be life-long leaders for their own community and for the world.
Guatemala reflections video from last year's council
Traditional Open Fire Stove
Burns from Open Fire
2012 Youth Council Building an Efficient Stove
Youth Council Members with Local Children
Laying the Foundation for a Masonry Stove
Taking a Break to Bond