Rotary has the power to make dreams come true, according to Carlos Galvez, who visited and updated the club on the Chapita Bonita Stove Project. "When you support this project, you are helping people who are a world away," he said. "One thousand, twenty eight miles from here, you are making other people’s dreams come true."
Carlos was born in Guatemala and has a degree in industrial engineering. He is married with two children and a violoinist; he is a founding member of the symphonic member of Guatemala. After a successful business career, he is now an active Rotarian and 100% dedicated to the Chapita Bonita Stove Project.
Carlos started by thanking our club for it’s support; “1028 miles from here, you are making other people’s dreams come true.” When people ask him how the project started, he tells them it is the power of Rotary.

The Chapita Bonita Stove Project provides energy-efficient brick stoves to homes and schools in Guatemala. These stoves are not only ecological, using less firewood and thereby helping with deforestation issues in Guatemala, but also are better for the health of the women and children who spend their days in the vicinity of the stoves. The stoves being replaced filled their homes with smoke, leading to significant health problems. Open fire cooking is responsible for 5-10,000 deaths each year in Guatemala.

The cost of each stove is about $75; this covers supplies and labor, which are sourced and hired locally in each village. Since mid-2014, they have built more than 3,000 stoves. Families pay for half of the stove, and funding from Rotary covers the other half. They often go to villages and teach them how to build the stoves; the villagers – often the women – then go on to construct their own stoves.

Carlos noted that they are continuously improving the stoves, now installing what is probably the eighth version. Carlos encouraged us to consider coming to Guatemala to help install some stoves; he said he will be happy to host you and will show you some of Guatemala!
Learn more about the project.
Want to attend “Beyond Polar Politicization: Finding Common Ground for the Common Good,” a breakfast program on Thurs, April 12 sponsored by the St Paul Sunrise Club? Learn more and register online.