Lourdes
Chief Storyteller. You can usually find Ivi with a big smile on her face and a camera in her hand. She is passionate about telling stories of transformation and loves being a part of all the good happening here in Nicaragua.

A Kitchen That Educates 

In Doña Lourdes’ kitchen, small, dry pieces of wood are consumed by the coals, but contrary to the typical burning of a wood stove, Lourdes’ fire is discreet and silent. There is no smoke or ash in the room, and the heat does not spread in the kitchen. The tortillas are ready just as the rice cooks.
The little brick and ironwork stove, no more than a meter high, saves the family firewood and is responsible for the warm serenity of this lunch. This simple construction helps families transform their lives through implementing healthy cooking habits.

Doña Lourdes has lived in the community of La Grecia since she was a child. A few months ago, she and several other women from La Grecia were invited to attend what we call a vision day. They all responded with a yes to this invitation, traveling from their community to anxiously see the new Clean Air Kitchen model that the Amigos for Christ Community Advocates had told them so much about.

Her doubts, though, were all in vain, and Lourdes was delighted with the vision of the kitchen. Standing and looking at the new kitchen, Lourdes could imagine the transformation in her home and in the lives of her friends and neighbors.

How? Lourdes stepped up and offered her home to be used as a new model for other women. Several neighboring women who wanted to receive the benefit of the kitchen could be trained on how to use it in Lourdes’ kitchen. Lourdes opened the door of her home so that everyone could have the opportunity that she had on her vision day.

 “I wanted the women of my community to learn the importance of changing habits just like I did. Habits that are now part of my home and my life. That is why I offered my house. So that juntas we could learn how to use our kitchens.” 

Lourdes

Transformed people transform people. Lourdes tells us that the vision day was an incredible experience for her. She was able to experience directly from another woman what it meant to change home habits, to be able to be free of the diseases caused by smoke inhalation. Not only did Lourdes install and teach with her kitchen, but she also installed a sink and a ceramic table that allows her to prepare food in a sanitary way. She continues enforcing the changes that have improved her  and her family’s health.

"Sometimes we need inspiration, what we call initiative. Amigos took us to another community not only to  witness the changes within a family, but also to directly experience the blessing that God brings us through people like them. Seeing that family inspired me to want to be like them. That day, I signed on and said,

a smiling Lourdes

Now, what do the women of the community of La Grecia all have in common? All of them are using their Clean Air Kitchens more frequently to benefit their personal health and their family health.

The joy that exists in the home of Lourdes and the women in the community of La Grecia is something that cannot be described. It must be experienced. Today, they cook with the secure knowledge that they are preventing diseases, saving money, conserving time, and caring for their families. All in the best possible way – through a smoke-free kitchen in their homes!

Find Out More!

Read more about our Clean Air Kitchen project here.

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