What an amazing volunteer experience Stove Team offers! This group saves lives by establishing factories that build eco-friendly stoves that reduce the need and danger of open-fire burning in homes. We worked a few days in a factory outside of Antigua, Guatemala, learning to build and assemble the stoves, and then delivered stoves at the end of our week to 5 families. How rare to make such a significant impact in just a week!
I was able to work with Stove Team in Guatemala in 2015. It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet Nancy Hughes, the founder and also Marco Tulio, the owner of the factory near Antigua. They are doing impressive work for the people of Guatemala, creating jobs, building stoves for needy families, and working with the community. The trip I was on included half-day Spanish school every day and a visit to a village on Day of the Dead. We assisted at the factory in the afternoons and were able to go along when the stoves were installed in people's homes. It was a memorable trip and Stove team is a admirable non-profit.
I helped start StoveTeam International, and we have worked hard to provide safe, affordable, portable fuel-efficient stoves to more than 56,000 individuals in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. We take teams of individuals on a regular basis so they are exposed to the need in the rural communities. Stoves can be donated for only $50.00 and change the lives of families. Please visit our website at www.stoveteam.org to see the multiple videos.
This summer I spent a week with a wonderful group of people - volunteers, employees, entrepreneurs, lovely, happy, proud and hospitable Guatemalan people, and the one in charge, the one with the vision - the one who is a true inspiration, Nancy Hughes. Together we worked to help Marco Tulio, another big visionary, build ECOCOMAL stoves to fill orders of an ever-increasing demand. We also worked at building a bamboo stick constructed house that will add to Marco Tulio's repertoire of grand ideas. This is truly a phenomenal endeavor. This nonprofit gets my vote!!!
We worked in the stove factory helping with 2 main tasks. The factory was very busy trying to fill an order for 600 stoves, so our help, although we did have a learning curve initially, was beneficial. The thought that my hands filled stoves with pumice for insulation and my trowel smoothed out the concrete top of the stove and that someone, somewhere in Guatemala would be using this exact stove soon, was heartwarming. We also helped with factory expansion by helping to construct a cabana where the factory owner dreams that one day visitors will stay while experiencing stove making. We also made a visit to a home where they cooked on the ground, learning about the challenges of trying to cook tortillas in the rain. We provided this family with a fuel efficient stove in exchange for their effort to help us understand the challenges of the open fire.
The overall experience was well rounded and intimate. I definitely will want to return for a similar experience.
Review from Guidestar
I have just returned from a Stove Team trip to Oaxaca and Nochixtlian Mexico, what a wonderful experience.We were building a Stove Factory in a small town that will serve the surrounding villages.
I learned how to stucco the way it has been done in Mexico for hundreds of years ( and it was a great upper body workout!). We worked hard but had lots of time for interesting experiences, visiting villages to introduce our stoves, visiting ruins,churches, even a little shopping.Great food and great company on this very well planned trip. This was my 4th Rotary related international trip and it was the best, can't wait to go on another!
I was one of the student coordinator through the University of Oregon Alternative Spring Break program that traveled to Honduras with StoveTeam. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my college career. I think I can speak with the entire group when I say that. Not only were our hosts, Annibal and Rosanna, the most hospitable, friendly, warm people I've ever had the chance to meet, but the cause is such an important one and it truly felt like we were making a difference in other peoples lives. Empty your pockets, go with them to Honduras. Once you meet these people you will never turn back!
Having just returned from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I want to applaud the StoveTeam in combining a wonderful travel adventure with the opportunity to leave a little something positive in the country you have visited as well. Our volunteer work was very satisfying, helping families in relatively remote villages use the ecocide stove (developed by STI) to not only save 40% more wood, but provide smoke free burning and much less danger for burning children. The nights in the charming city provided outstanding cuisine and entertainment as well. A perfect combo.