The community is a small agricultural community located in the interior of Panama. The purpose of this project is to provide community members a more sustainable and health friendly cooking method. The current method utilized by the majority of the population is gas stoves or traditional three stone campfires. The implementation of eco stoves would help to reduce the consumption of firewood thus reducing reforestation in the Panama Canal watershed. Additionally, eco stoves would help to reduce the amount of smoke produced from cooking and decrease the amount of smoke inhalation by the family members in the household. This project will improve the quality of life and health of participating families while raising awareness on the specific environmental issues within the community. In addition, eco stoves will help to reduce the amount of firewood collected and used as well as the amount of smoke produced that is harmful to everyone in the household.
This project was decided on by participating families during a 3-month community analysis meeting in August of 2018. Community members agreed to contribute materials already available in the community such as sand and to having fundraisers such as Bingo or movie nights to help reduce the overall costs of the stoves. Participating members also agreed on attending stove construction training in order for each household to build their own stoves. Each household will need to contribute a monetary contribution of $30 or participate in the afore mentioned fundraisers in which the total sum will be divided amongst the participating members. In addition to the monetary contribution, the community will be expected to provide materials, labor and tools. Lastly, each participating family needs to attend at least 3 community events such as the monthly community clean ups, or recycling charlas and activities held by the local Peace Corp volunteer.