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Project Background

In the village of Huilloc, in the Sacred Valley in Peru, over 200 households are using traditional open fire cook stoves that produce a toxic smoke contributing to the incidence of low birth weight in babies as well as pneumonia, pulmonary disease and bronchitis in the children and woman who spend approximately eight hours a day in the kitchen. 

World Expeditions Foundation and Lima Tours with the support of Caritas Cusco implemented this project with the aim of improving the living conditions of the community members through the installation of 50 improved cook stoves that could transform in some way the homes of the inhabitants of this rural area.

Project Activities

Selecting Beneficiaries

To select the beneficiaries of the project, it was decided to identify them with the support of the initial and primary school of Huilloc, with whom a total of 75 families were identified with the following criteria:

  • Socio-economic level of the family
  • Number of children per family
  • Home location (according to the distance from the center of the community)
  • Exclusion of the families from other improved kitchens project 

Once the beneficiary families were identified, Caritas supervised and organized a meeting with the community to explain the advantages of “Munay Q’oncha” improved kitchens, its operation, its construction and maintenance, as well as each family compromise.

Families were asked to contribute with the construction of the kitchens, through the preparation of their own clay, adobe and sand, fundamental materials for the cook stove basis.  

Construction of Cook Stoves

As of December 2017, 50 cook stoves have been built for the selected families with the help of a certified master builder and the support of each family. The construction of each cook stove consists of three phases:

  1. Preparation of mud and adobe
  2. Cook Stove construction
  3. Final finish process – Ocher and Cement

Monitoring Cook Stoves

Once the process ended, the team visited the families of the 7 sectors to verify the effective use and operation of the improved cook stove. 

What could be observed was, that more than 80% of the families are using their cook stoves and feeling the impact of their benefits, it has changed their way of cooking and living in a better way. In fact, among the benefits mentioned by the beneficiaries are:

  • Faster cooking
  • Variation of the family diet (thanks to the presence of the oven)
  • Absence of smoke and therefore healthier housing

The remaining 20% are in the process of adopting the technology, due to the fact that they are not used to it, with these families a second phase of awareness-raising was carried out by individual visits, giving them a trial period during a month. If they do not feel comfortable with it, we will proceed to withdraw it and deliver to another family. 

Watch a video on the project here.

What Next?

Through the monitoring of the 50 families in the highlands, it became apparent the scarce economic conditions of those families that live between 1 to 3 hours away from Huilloc, which still do not have an healthy cook stove.

WEF continue to support this project installing healthy cook stoves in Huilloc and these further afield villages.  

Can I Visit the Project?

Find out more information on how you can visit the project here.

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