Hope Stove Team Stove Team 1620


20 volunteers to help 140 Guatemalan families have safer homes by installing water filters, inside & outside stoves January 19-28, 2013.


Hope Covenant Church of St. Cloud, MN has partnered with Helps International since 2006 to make a dramatic difference in the lives 730 families in the central highlands of Nebaj and Sololá. The January team will return to Sololá to work with families from a number of municipios/towns, smaller villages, relatively isolated homes.

100% of your donation on behalf of Stove Team 1620 will provide each family with an Onil (indoor) stove, nixtamalera (outdoor) stove, and water filter. The extremely well designed “Onil” (indoor) stove, in addition to eliminating illnesses and injuries, reduces fuel consumption and related expenses by 70% as well as reducing air pollution caused by inefficient cooking fires and the deforestation of the Guatemalan highlands.

These items will help each family break out of their chronic exposure to illness and injury as well as extreme poverty and provide them the opportunity to become self-sufficient.

The families also receive 2 Gideon New Testaments and tennis balls for the children.

Team members pay or raise their own funds for personal expenses which include airfare, food lodging and bus transportation besides lodging and food for the Guatemalan HELPs staff that accompany each mini-team of four, and a portion of the Helps operational costs in Guatemala.


Wood smoke rises above small mountain villages and individual homes scattered throughout the department (state) of Sololá. Three-stone fires, used throughout the world and throughout all of human history, have been a key challenge in life's struggle to survive.

Even in the 21st century Mayan women are cooking meals and boiling water over open fires on dirt floors in un-vented one room homes.

Helps International, a Dallas-area NGO (non-governmental organization), was founded in 1984 in Texas as a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation dedicated to assisting the people of Guatemala with the goal of providing permanent change in the lives of families.

One of Helps' initial activities included relief services to widows and their children impacted by a 36 year civil war. As a small medical program grew it began to regularly treat patients’ illnesses and injuries related to smoke inhalation and burns.

Don O’Neal, retired mechanical engineer and Helps volunteer medical team leader, was prompted to consider ways to alleviate the underlying issues. The result was the 2003 introduction of a safe and efficient wood burning cook stove - clay-fired combustion chamber inside an insulated (crushed volcanic rock) cast concrete stove body with a plancha/ metal stove top vented by a galvanized steel chimney through corrugated metal roofs.

Helps is a member of the United Nations Foundation’s Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves ("Igniting Change"). All of the alliance’s steps to "100 by 20" - involving 100 million homes in adopting clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020 – have already been put in place by Helps. They have successfully:

1) Researched local traditions and cooking customs

2) Developed standards for the Onil stove

3) Enabled women to use the stove in "real world" settings – their homes

4) Created a manufacturing plant to produce most components & located sources for related ones

5) Promoted the stove’s benefits among current and past government and national business leaders

6) Marketed and distributed stoves through NGOs in 4 other Central American countries

7) Mobilized US volunteers and international companies volunteers to subsidize the stoves and water filter cost as well as install them for families who cannot otherwise afford them

If you have questions or want additional information, please contact Ken Johnson, kenjohnson38@yahoo.com or Cindy Koubsky, ckoubsky@charter.net, Stove Team 1620 co-leaders.

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