The Problem

In the Nicaraguan countryside, families with little means have often lived with very inefficient stoves in their homes. These stoves require large amounts of wood and are poorly ventilated causing heavy smoke to cloud the home resulting in unsafe health conditions for the mothers and families.  In addition, because of the need for a lot of wood for these stoves, the countryside has vast areas of deforestation, which leads to soil erosion and flooding.

  • Located In


  • 65

    People Served

  • Funded by

    24 Donors

The Solution

We provided the funding to have several highly efficient cookstoves built for families. The construction of the stoves used local labor and materials and were built on site in several homes. The stoves burn with very little wood and have a ventilation stack to keep the air quality safe in the home.

Donation Team

  • Leslie B.
  • Tricia C.
  • Marcie C.
  • Sheila D.
  • Bruce D.
  • Luke F.
  • Joe G.
  • Harriet H.
  • Pat J.
  • Amanda L.
  • Jennifer L.
  • Lola O.
  • Andrea S.
  • Greg S.
  • Christoph S.
  • Toni S.
  • Deborah S.
  • The Bradford School
  • Fran V.
  • James W.
  • Leo W.
  • In memory of Lynn Hargraves
  • In memory of Joanne Scaduto Ziegler
  • In memory of Winnie Strunk

Project Updates

  • Oct 2012

    • This project has a three fold effect on the local region.

      1. Families typically use inefficient stoves in their homes to prepare all of their meals. The stoves use a large abundance of wood and have limited or no ventilation. This causes major health issues for all the members of the family, especially the mothers.

      2. With all the families needing large quantities of wood, this has caused extensive deforestation in Nicaragua.

      3. The less forests means heavier flooding in the region as the ground is not taking in as much water without the trees.

      This project will be funding new highly efficient stoves to be installed in the local homes of multiple families. The stoves use much less wood and offer a safely ventilated exhaust to keep the home clear of toxic smoke.

  • Nov 2012

    • The families who will be a part of the Stove Project in Nicaragua have been identified and work on the new stoves will begin soon. The images shown are a few of the family members who will be receiving the new stoves for their homes. Work has begun on making the new stoves and we will share further updates as the stoves are installed and ready to use.

    • A second local family who will be receiving a new stove.

  • Dec 2012

    • El Porvenir, the local NGO in Nicaragua, have sent us some new photographs as work continues in the local communities. Locally sourced materials and labor are delivered to the community where the stoves are being installed. The new stoves are built on site in the homes and provide a welcome change to the lives of families who were previously using stoves that consumed a large amount of wood and had little or no ventilation of the smoke.

    • As work continues, another group of stoves will be installed in additional homes in the region.

  • Apr 2013

    • We received our final report from the NGO El Porvenir who ran the Stove Project in Terrabona Nicaragua and all of the families now have their new stoves installed. The project created a simple solution to a problem that faces many families in Nicaragua and in other rural communities around the world. Properly designed and vented stoves provide high efficiency in burning wood which means less wood is needed, and smoke is pulled out of the home through a ventilation stack. The images shown here include just a few of the families who benefit from having the new stoves installed in their homes. Look on the walls and you’ll see our logo alongside a maintenance information sheet provided by El Porvenir to ensure the stoves are kept up by the owners. The stoves will provide countless wonderful meals for everyone!

    • “You all have brought me a great blessing. I have a very beautiful stove; I don’t know how to thank you all. My head doesn’t hurt anymore; I don’t suffer from exhaustion. The doctor had prohibited me from being around smoke, and now I have achieved that. My health is better. I wouldn’t change this stove for anything.” – Doña Blanca Rosa Soza Torres

    • “I feel relief because I cook calmly, without smoke choking me. My children are able to be close by when I’m cooking, and it doesn’t harm them. How happy I feel.” – Doña Amparo Carmela Hernández

  • Dec 2013

    • During the week of December 5th, founder Joe Gonzalez traveled to Nicaragua to meet with the team of El Porvenir. Joe visited several families in the Terrabona region outside of the capital city of Managua. The new stoves that we funded have made a big change in the lives of the women who use them on a daily basis. The stoves use less wood, provide a larger cooking surface and most importantly, are properly vented to allow harmful smoke to vent out of the home. Having had the chance to see the stoves first-hand and meet with the people who are using them gives a real sense of accomplishment. The families are so grateful to have the stoves in their homes and relish the change it has made.  One woman called it “a gift” that has been given to her, and others commented that friends who visit want to know how they can get one also.

      The design of the stoves are simple, they use local materials and are built on-site with local labor. This project addressed a major health issue by eliminating the toxic smoke that used to fill the homes during cooking. Deforestation was addressed by having stoves that utilize much less wood during use. Finally, El Porvenir runs a reforestation program with the families that received the stoves and having more trees helps address flooding problems that were an issue in the region.