Photo of the Week: Gathering fuelwood (and hunting lizards) in Guatemala

gathering fuelwood guatemala

About this photo

In Guatemala, more than 71% of the nation’s 14.7 million people are dependent on wood to cook every meal. This demand for fuelwood has put a huge strain on one of the country’s most precious natural resources: the forests. In addition, the many hours spent collecting wood is time that could be spent working or going to school.

Our clean cookstove programs in Guatemala aim to decrease fuelwood consumption and, at the same time, improve the health of families and the overall environment.

“A young boy from Nuevo Todos Santos near Escuintla, Guatemala proudly shows off a juvenile iguana that he shot with his home-made slingshot while collecting firewood.  While we were merely coincidental bystanders to his hunt, we were more focused on the 30+lbs of wood he had hanging nonchalantly from his forehead the entire time he scouted for the lizard, aimed, shot and retrieved it.  Gathering firewood is an everyday reality for women and children in rural Guatemala who consume thousands of pounds of wood per year cooking with inefficient, three-stone fires.” -Sebastian Africano

Photo by Sebastian Africano, International Director

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