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.

Health, Sustainability, and Employment

Glenda Montoya loves to cook. One wall of her home in Rancho Pando is entirely covered by her collection of hoyas and cacerolas. As a mother, Glenda has always dreamed of teaching her daughter how to prepare delicious meals for family occasions and to sell them to people in their neighborhood. For years, however, Glenda did all she could to make sure Dilan and Yasmari played outside while she cooked. The smoke from their family’s wood-burning stove would fill the entire house, making Doña Glenda’s eyes water and the children cough. 

Glenda gained access to her community’s clean water system about five years ago when it was built through an Amigos for Christ project. When given the opportunity to make the financial investment to participate in other projects, she was unsure. Thanks to help from a friend and the encouragement from the Community Advocate who visited her each day, she decided to say yes. She began to sell food during the weekends in order to save up the money to pay for her portion of the project. 

After two months of saving up money, she decided to attend an information session about the Clean Air Kitchens. Just a few months later, Glenda began working alongside a team of Amigos for Christ masons to construct her very own kitchen.

Ever since they finished construction, Glenda has experienced an extraordinary life transformation – there is no smoke in her home and, more than anything, she is grateful to know that her children will never again be exposed. “This is the legacy I am leaving them,” she says. Her ability to use what is in her hands to ensure the future of her family is, in her opinion, the best possible legacy she could leave. 

“The kitchen is a great help for me, I’m glad that I listened to my promoter when they gave me the idea to start selling chicken enchiladas and different types of food. Without that support, I would not have been able to increase my income to save and get my clean air kitchen.”

Doña Glenda

“I’m so happy to have this kitchen at my house. It was one of the best decisions that I made this year,” Doña Glenda says, peering over Yasmari’s shoulder as she helps her make tortillas. “It changed my life. My children’s lungs are healthy, I don’t feel sick while I cook and as an extra benefit, I also can prepare more food that before and sell it to my clients”

As a lover of family reunions, Doña Glenda is most excited to be able to cook in her peroles, which are oversized pots that are perfect for large meals. “Now I can make a tasty meal for my whole extended family.” She pats a perol sitting on the stove.

“My kitchen is beautiful, and it is a place where I can share both time and food with my family. I could never have done this on my own. I am so grateful to Amigos for Christ programs but at the same time for the support that they are giving me through their friendship, leadership and trust.”

For Glenda, no impact is more important than the impact this project can have on her family. “I never imagined anything like this would ever be possible for us,” she repeated several times. However, thanks to their involvement both with the projects of Amigos as well as with the staff and volunteers, Glenda and her family have experienced Christ made visible and the encouragement they needed to grow their faith and trust God more than ever before.

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