In July 2023, we had the pleasure to finally visit our first Latin America Carbon Project – our very transformative Improved Cookstove Project in Guatemala!
We are so proud of this project – not only because it’s our first in this region – but because of the incredible work our partners do on the ground. We started working with Estufas Chispa in 2020, and have since then registered 4,640 stoves that are reducing GHG emissions on a daily basis, and improving the life of thousands. The project is certified by the non-profit Gold Standard, who validate and verify our project design, monitoring and impact quantifications.
During our site visit we were able to admire the success factors of the wood-fuelled stove design. Its’ flat plancha grill makes it easy for families to cook their favourite staple foods like tortillas, but also allows for big pots of beans and other delicacies. It is common for families to cook large quantities for large families, and the cooking surface of the stove allows for plenty of space for that. Since the stove is quite heavy, it stays fixed in a set location in the kitchen, and drives the smoke out through a chimney which, in some cases, is up to 2 metres high.
The sustainability and impact of our projects is truly determined by the uptake of the improved stoves. It is essential that families use the stove on a daily basis and completely abandon their polluting baseline stoves/open fires. Through their use, we make a positive impact on their health, reduce GHG emissions and improve their comfort and wellbeing.
Throughout several days, we conducted more than 50 household visits, engaging with stove users, tracking the need for maintenance and requesting feedback on how to improve the project. It was such a privilege to connect with different community members, where the mother of the household would often share her excitement about the changes the cookstove had brought to her family. Many mentioned they no longer experienced the constant coughing and eye irritation that had affected them when cooking on an open fire.
We also conducted a very successful Local Stakeholder Consultation in Antigua, as we could not conduct it sooner due to Covid-19. This meeting served as an opportunity for different stakeholders to give their views on which aspects of the project can improve.
Our site visit to the improved cookstove project in Guatemala was a powerful reminder of the impact that small changes can have on individuals, communities, and the environment. We are very confident in the impact that this project is delivering, and will be focusing our efforts in expanding this project to scale the impact. More news to come on that!