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Storing Saves Lives

El Salvador 2011

Stoves Saving Lives Project

Submitted by Max Greenblum
PCV serving in Caserío San Luis, El Salvador
From Austin, Texas
Benefiting Organization: StoveTeam International

Thanks to you, HoTPCA was able to give Max Greenblum $1,000 toward the support of his Stoves Saving Lives project.

The goals and objectives of Max’s project was to improve the health and safety of families throughout the community where Max serves by limiting their exposure to the effects of open-fire cooking—smoke and hot surfaces—while also limiting their environmental impact by lowering the demand for firewood.

Stoves in Bulk


StoveTeam International's Low-Cost, Fuel-Efficient Stoves

Open-fire cooking takes place in essentially all homes of rural El Salvadoran communities and the results are impossible to ignore—young children rushed to hospitals with severe burns, women in their 40s and 50s going blind with cataracts, severe deforestation, and the alarmingly rapid rate of increasing deadly mudslides destroying entire communities every year during the rainy season. StoveTeam International’s (a recognized 501(c)(3) organization), Max’s organization partner, developed a state-of-the-art stove which cuts down on wood by 60%, carbon and other particulate matter output by 70%, produces virtually no smoke, and is cool to the touch (besides the actual cooking surface).

StoveTeam International planned to sell 100 subsidized stoves at a cost of $42 each in and around Caserío San Luis, Cantón La Magdalena, Chalchuapa, Santa Ana where Max lives. Caserío San Luis is a rural village with 142 homes and around 650 people. 33% of the population is under the age of ten and only 35% can read and write.

Even this subsidized price of $42 was out of each of the majority of residents of Caserío San Luis. However, for two payments of $16, totaling $32, many more families in the area could afford the stoves, which would instantly and sustainably improve their family’s health, safety, and environmental impact. A $1,000 grant would lower the price of the stoves from $42 to $32 for 100 families. In the village each home averages about 7 residents; therefore, 100 stoves would positively improve the health and safety of about 700 residents.

Concrete stove in use


Stove in use

Additionally, the stoves had a proven product in and around Caserío San Luis. In 2009, StoveTeam received funding from Rotary International to lower their price to $32 for a short period of time, and 12 members of Caserío San Luis purchased the stoves. Because all who bought them were happy with their purchase, they became strong community advocates of the stoves.

When he came to us for financial support, Max had already enticed over 70 community members to commit to buying a stove if the price was reduced to $32. We were delighted to support this most worthy project.