These testimonials support the precept on which Ahuyu was founded – that a clean cookstove disrupts the cycle of energy poverty and illness perpetuated by open cooking fires. The interviews gathered by Doña Chonita redouble our goal of expanding access to clean cookstoves among the poor in Guatemala.
As one participant, Doña Maria Esmeralda, put it, “I am very thankful with those who are providing us with this great support, and I wish that these clean cookstoves will continue to benefit other people in our community.” Your year-end donation will help us to continue this work.
In Latin America a market-based solution for clean cookstoves continues to be elusive. The key facilitators to scaling access include microcredit, carbon financing, and innovation in low cost stove design. Our project continues to be a laboratory to test new models and demonstrate the feasibility of clean cookstove distribution among the poor in Guatemala. In 2014 we distributed 75 stoves at a cost of $9750.
Over the past year we transferred the Ahuyu model to Friendship Bridge, the largest microfinance bank based in our region. We continue to provide expertise to promote the expansion of their microcredit distribution model among their network of over 20,000 women. Their distribution of 125 stoves in 2014 is an exciting first step.
We continue to sell handicrafts from Chonita's organization Kixjo Qusmajaa on Etsy as a supplemental fundraising tool and to support the livelihood of our partners. We are excited to announce that the line of watches we created in partnership with La Mer Collections has been picked up by Toms. Proceeds from the sale of these watches on Toms Marketplace support both Ahuyu and the women artisans.
We appreciate your support of our efforts to combat energy poverty, disease, and environmental degradation in Guatemala.
Justin Schram and Chonita Chavajay