A New Hearth, and Healthier Home: Smoke Reducing Cook Stoves and Culinary Classes

Year: 2013
Country: Dominican Republic
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Health
Project Investment: $4,821.71

Project Launch:

In Pedro Garcia, a small pueblo nestled in the mountains outside of Santiago and 2km off the old highway between Santiago and Puerto Plata, poorer community members often use a fogon (a stove made from three cement blocks in a U shape) or a natural gas burning stove for their cooking needs. Unfortunately, cooking on these fogones indoors is extremely damaging to respiratory health, and propane for the gas-burning stove is often prohibitively expensive. This project aims to install Norca model improved cookstoves in the community, which are designed to cut down the amount of wood used by 33% and significantly reduce the amount of smoke released in the household by removing it through a chimney. The installation of the cookstoves will be done by local masons, increasing their income generating potential and ensuring the sustainability of the project by training them to build, repair and maintain the cookstoves. After the installation, local leaders will be hosting workshops to teach residents how to cook healthier, more nutritious meals on the new cookstoves, in an effort to reduce the elevated rates of diabetes that have been documented in the community by local healthworkers.


Project Update

Due to high buy-in from the community, 36 cook stoves were built, six more than originally planned. Three introductory stove meetings were held, with more than 40 community members participating. The classes provided information on the proper use and care of the stove, dangers of wood smoke, and deforestation. The class also talked about health and agriculture, and provided instruction on how to produce coffee in a sustainable way. Eight women attended cooking classes, which covered various topics such as diabetes, hypertension, vitamins, exercise and portion control. The participants learned how to make vegetable spaghetti, carrot croquets, avocado smoothies, squash bread, squash soup, and squash salad.



“I love the cooking class, it is fun and we are learning how to make very healthy and very tasty foods.” Pastora, Project Participant
“I am very thankful to be receiving a better cookstove. The smoke in the house from the current cookstove is so bad!” Julia, Project Participant

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