They may start with manure and straw and end with a coffee can, but the EcoStove is improving the lives of families one stove at a time. The design is simple, efficient, and sustainable, making this project suitable for the local Honduran craftsmen to build and for our International team to oversee.
Our EcoStove Project dates back to 2006 when we met Rotarians from Lawrenceburg, TN and learned about their electrical project in Choluteca. So, in February 2007, we sent a 5-member team to join them. Pictured above is that first team: Steve Baum, Jerry Vickers, Dennis Sanders, Craig Brennan, and Janice Schuckman.
Honduras is the 2nd poorest country in Central America, with approximately 64% of Hondurans living below the poverty level of 2 dollars per day. Thirty-nine percent of the population is employed in agriculture; however, an onslaught of natural and man-made disasters continue to damage that industry. Deforestation through illegal logging activities has led to widespread erosion and destruction of the agricultural industry.
Madison Rotarians have been traveling to Honduras since 2015 to provide eyeglasses and medical eye care to people in remote mountain regions of southern Honduras. Led by Dr. Michael St.Peter and International Service Chair Tim McMicken, our team has examined over 1,500 people and dispensed over 2,000 pairs of glasses. Most of the villagers have never seen an eye doctor or had prescription glasses.
In 2008, we took the first small duffel bag full of toothbrushes and dental supplies. Through the help of Carolina, our local contact in Choluteca, we distributed them to school children, most of whom had never seen one before. Funny at first, then a bit more somber, several children initially attempted to brush their hair until we showed them how to brush their teeth. In the following years, we continued including dental supplies in […]
As part of our annual Honduras humanitarian mission, we visit homes of previous EcoStove recipients to ensure the stoves are working properly. On one such visit in 2014, we went to the home of Tonya, a kind woman in her mid-fifties who greeted us with a big smile. As we talked, she mentioned her failing eyesight and not being able to read much anymore. (With no electricity and few windows, the homes are often […]
Ceilings and walls are covered with thick layers of creosote. Lingering smoke makes it hard to see and even harder to breathe, causing long-term respiratory problems. Inefficient open fires use too much wood and cook too slowly, requiring all day to cook even the simplest meals. There’s never enough wood, and never enough time to do anything but haul wood and keep the fire burning.
These ladies are just a few of our many EcoStove recipients. The efficient stove means less time spent cooking and more time for other family concerns. Their children are also healthier (no more smoke!), have more time for school (less wood hauling!), and enjoy a cleaner home.
Duffel bags, of course!! While our primary mission to Honduras may have started with electrical work and EcoStoves, we have expanded our humanitarian service. Since that first trip in 2007, we carry an array of things: stuffed animals, clothes, vitamins, toys, soccer balls, dental supplies, a dentist, reading glasses, and an optometrist. How do we transport all of that? Well, for Drs. Amy Thompson and Michael St. Peter, we buy airline tickets. For all […]