Thursday, April 28, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: An Action-packed Five Days with Pan en la Boca!
Written by Ailsa Bryce, Volunteer Program Coordinator
We were lucky enough to host Pan en la Boca recently, who worked with us for five days. While here, the group participated in a wide range of activities from Preschool activities to stove building, and even helped out in the medical clinic.
Over the course of their time with us, the Fuhriman family installed six fuel-efficient ONIL Stoves and two sawyer water filters. In doing so, they made a huge, tangible difference in the lives of these families. In rural areas of Guatemala, the average Guatemalan family collects around 18,000lbs of firewood per year. According to HELPS International, families who buy their wood, typically spend 40% of their yearly income doing so. The ONIL stoves require 70% less firewood than an open fire and therefore save these families massive amounts of time, energy and money.
A family before, and after receiving an ONIL stove installed by the Fuhriman family
However, aside from the financial advantages that families experience, there are also health benefits. Typically, families in rural Guatemala cook over open fires and often live and cook in the same room. Consequently, family members frequently suffer from respiratory infections. This in turn, often impacts the children’s education. ONIL stoves channel the smoke out of the houses and therefore protect families from these dangers.
The Fuhrimans also installed two sawyer water filters that the group donated to local families. These also significantly improve the families’ health as often the only water source available to families is tap water. However, tap water in Guatemala is not safe to drink as it often contains parasites and water-borne diseases. The Sawyer filters remove 99.99999% of these impurities, require very minimal maintenance and can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water before they need replacing.
For two mornings, the group also planned and led activities in the Mayan Families preschools in El Barranco and Panajachel, including sock-puppet making, pictured on the right!
In between stoves, water filters and preschool activities, the group also found time to assist with patient intake for the Mayan Families Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic. They took vital signs of new patients and helped to fill out patient charts, while simultaneously entertaining bored children!
We are so grateful to Pan en la Boca for all their generosity and hard work over the course of a such a busy week and very much hope to welcome them back to Guatemala soon!