This year we travelled to the Western Highland Region of Guatemala with Old Bridge United Methodist Church. On this trip we built 14 stoves for women who live in extreme poverty so they can cook indoors without breathing the toxic fumes that are emitted by the open pit fires they often use in non ventilated spaces. Highland Maya women typically do not have access to labor saving devices nor do they have instant food. A three-ring cooking stove drastically reduces their workload and requires less wood for fuel. These stoves save a typical woman about 2/3 of her annual income and dramatically reduce the amount of toxic air breathed in by women and their families.
We also planted over 150 trees to help with reforestation efforts. Forests around the world have seen drastic reductions in the past decade. Guatemala’s forests are no different.
We also painted and cleaned a three-room school that will also be used to house the Women’s Circle Program that teaches entrepreneurial and other life skills to the women and their children. Pictures of our time in Guatemala are below. Thank you for your support and prayers.
The BUOY team at Lake Atitlan on day 1
Communion on the boat on our way to the coffee plantation
This is what the stoves will replace
The finished product
The women in the village wanted to dress our ladies
in traditional garb. They looked beautiful!
Planting trees was harder than we thought. We were deep in the forrest!
We painted and cleaned this three room school
The Mayan Ruins at Iximche were incredible!
This is a ball court where the Mayans played a game with a heavy rubber ball. Legend has it that the losing team would be sacrificed to the gods. No pressure!
This is one of several temples in the city. It’s believed that each of the 13 gods had its own temple.
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