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Muimui's Travel Journal

Building "Estufas"

GUATEMALA | Friday, 27 March 2009 | Views [438] | Comments [1]

This week has been a busy week.  On Wednesday there was the Proyeto Estufas (Stoves Project) and on Thusday there was a visit to the Guarderia (Day Care Center).  They are both on-going projects that our school have where students can just sign up to go if they want to.  I have been looking forward to building stoves so I was very excited to go finally (it was cancelled last week)!  I should mention that we are building stoves because these local folks just don't have them, and they just cook inside their house with an open fire, which is dangerous obviously, and also makes the air quality bad, as well as wasting more fuel somehow.  This village we are working at is not too far from Xela, about 20 min by bus (only Q.2 or 25cents US).  Their house consists of really one big room made of bricks with a metal room and its connecting wood/corrugated metal shacks.  In the main room there are no windows, but there is a bed and a TV which the childen were watching cartoons.  No floor, just dirt.  The previous group has already built a base for the stove which is to one side of the room, so the mission for the day was to build the cavity in which the fuel (wood) will be burnt.  The materials are already on site, and we first soaked the bricks in big tub of water.  This is necessary so that the clay/cement will adhere to the bricks.  Oh, I should have mentioned there were 4 students including myself with 2 teachers who went, and that was just the perfect number of people.  We mixed cement and clay etc, and started laying bricks around the edge of this stove base.  The clay/cement mixing part took a while but I'd say the laying of bricks part was quite easy.  We used our hands for the clay mostly and trowels (they call them "cuchara", meaning spoon) for the cement. We were done with the 3 layers by like noon time.  Now we had to wait for the stuff to dry, and we'll return next time to put the stove top on and also the chimney on.  It is good to know though that they already have running water off of a faucet and electricity (for the TV and lights).  I didn't see where their bathroom was so I don't know about sewage.  I felt good about doing some hard labor but wish it was more work as we only really went at it for like 2.5 hours you know.

work done for the day! we put 3 layers of bricks on.

work done for the day! we put 3 layers of bricks on.



Good job Deb! keep it up! Love your t-shirt...I think I threw out mine a while back! :)

  Colleen Mar 30, 2009 9:05 PM

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