New Vision Community, Guatemala, June 2019Apr 05, 2022
KeHE employees traveled to Santa Rosita, Guatemala with New Vision Community leaders to install Chispa’s. What is a Chispa, you ask? It is a cleaner-burning cook stove. Currently, families are cooking over an open fire often in enclosed spaces with no ventilation causing respiratory issues. The Chispa solves this problem by placing a “chimney” out of the roof for the smoke to escape. According to Malcolm Gribble, Co-Founder of, Estufas Chispa every six hours someone in Guatemala dies from respiratory infection or disease attributable to indoor air pollution. Not only does the Chispa solve this issue, but it also uses 46% less wood. This means less time searching for fallen tree branches or buying wood. The money saved from buying wood is enough to send three children to school for an entire year! Last, because of the flat cooktop, families have an easier time making traditional meals and tortillas.
Jason Miner, Transportation
“I decided I wanted to go to Guatemala shortly after coming back from Laredo in March of 2018. Everyone says that Laredo is an eye-opening experience, and I found that to be true. I’m not a person of strong faith and I hadn’t been given an opportunity to serve in this capacity before. I saw things and experienced things in Laredo that I had no clue were going on in this country. It was both alarming and rewarding at the same time. I wanted more. When the chance to serve again in Guatemala came up, I jumped all over it. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be chosen and I’ll never regret it.
If Laredo was eye-opening, then Guatemala was life-changing. I was hungry for more after Laredo, but after returning from Guatemala I’m desperate for more. What I got out of the trip was hope. As an eternal pessimist, I didn’t feel that way at first. Once I saw the living conditions down there, I felt like we were chipping away at a mountain with an icepick. I didn’t see how we, as such a small group, could make a difference. I had a talk with Pastor Luis about it and he explained to me that things down there CAN change but not to expect it to happen overnight. He was able to convince me that there is hope for the folks in Santa Rosita and that’s part of what we were there to give them. The small spark of hope that we provided the couple dozen families that we installed stoves for will spread. Before long, more families will see the improvement in the quality of life that we helped with and they’ll want it, too.
Maybe just as rewarding for me was the interactions I had with the children in Santa Rosita. They were such a terrific group! They gave me hope for the future more than anything else, I think. Their willingness to jump in and help was truly heart-warming. They were great co-workers and I sincerely want to see them again in the future. I just know that they’ll turn out to be valuable assets to their community.
I learned that it’s okay not to fix everything overnight. In some cases, just giving that spark of hope is enough to ignite a bonfire. I hope to get back there again in the future and warm my hands by that fire.