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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Cook Stove Workshop Ended Yesterday

Well, we are back in Mexico City, after four days in the Mazateca to finish the cook stove workshop. We arrived in San Jose Tenango the evening of July 24 and started the continuation of the workshop on the 25th. During the two and a half week break in the workshop, detailed lesson plans were made so that we had specific goals for each remaining day of the workshop. Each day was to end with a concrete, mortar or insulation (perlite) pour so that it could harden overnight.

For the most part, we achieved our goals each day. The exception was the final two days. On Saturday, the 27th, we wanted to complete the chimney, but we did not. The final smooth mortar for the stove top was, however, completed and there was plenty of time to install the chimney on the final day. On the last day, we ran out of sand and, therefore, could not do the final mortaring of the interior gas path (takes about one hour). The good news, though, is that Leo Dan who did this on one of the pilot stoves, lives close by and knows exactly what to do.

All in all, the workshop went well. Eighteen promoters (attendees) participated, asked a lot of questions, learned a lot, tried a lot of processes/procedures and are ready to make more stoves to really learn the process well. We are returning to Seattle tomorrow night (Tuesday, 7/30) and plan to come back in September to work with the promoters as they build eighty-eight more stoves. Meanwhile, THP and the communities have an enormous task ahead of them: to finish purchasing all the parts, transporting them to the area, distributing them properly so that each community gets the number needed for its planned stoves and manually moving the parts from the closest road to each community (up to a three hour hike).

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