Heylin lives with her husband and their four children in the community of La Danta. Heylin’s daughter, Socorro, was diagnosed with asthma when she was a toddler. As Heylin spends most of her time at home with her daughter, she was cooking meals for the family and noticed that her daughter was greatly affected by the smoke. Unfortunately, she had to rush her daughter to the hospital several times due to asthma attacks. Although Socorro was able to recover by taking her medicine, the financial cost was high, and they were concerned that continued exposure to smoke in their kitchen would lead to further health issues.
Heylin heard about the project that Amigos for Christ was offering to the families of La Danta. She wanted to be involved because of the health benefits that a Clean Air Kitchen would bring to her family, especially to her daughter, Socorro. Heylin said, “It was hard to save or get the money we needed to pay for it, but even if we needed to sell the fruits we had planted for ourselves, it was worth the effort. I knew that none of my children would be inhaling smoke at home like they used to with our old kitchen.
Now Heylin is happy using her kitchen as much as she can. She says, “I make tortillas four times a day. I used to cook on a gas stove and spent too much money on gas. Also, my family and I don’t like the taste of food cooked on gas. We think it tastes better when cooked with fire. I love to cook, so I’m grateful that I can now cook without worrying about my children. All the smoke goes up the chimney and not all over the place in my house.”
Heylin received a tiled table as a complement with her clean air kitchen, which gives her a clean space to prepare vegetables or cut her food. She now has better habits, and her life and her family’s health are improving every day.
“We use my house as the example and invite all the women from the community that don’t have the kitchen yet so they can see the project and how transforming it really is. In the future, they can be a part of this transformation”
“We never imagined having something like these kitchens in our community, my family is healthier, and I can spend less money on medicine and cook healthy food for my family.”
“I am so grateful with Amigos for Christ but at the same time I want these to keep happening in other communities so they can experience this transformation that I have in my life.”