Nourishing the Global Community
In 2015, Hudson Daybreak Rotary Club members Dr. Greg Young and Linda Robertson went on a medical mission trip to Guatemala. During their trip they came across many indigenous Guatemalans with respiratory diseases, eye irritations, burns, and other medical issues that were directly traced back to the unsafe practice of cooking with open fires in their homes. Knowing Rotary is a global organization Linda and Dr. Young reached out to the Guatemala East Rotary Club. To their delight, they discovered that one of the local Club’s members, Carlos Galvez, had already begun championing the Clean Cooking Stove Program. 
“Helping the people of Guatemala has been a great passion of my life. Seeing people who can’t even leave their house because their condition was so bad due to cooking was difficult to comprehend until you see it firsthand. Being doctors, our job is not only to cure people but as importantly is prevent outcomes like this. Seeing the impact we have brought to this region is truly inspiration and an example of how a small group can have a profound impact on others,” said Dr. Greg Young, Hudson Daybreak Rotary Club.
Carlos and his team have created a wood burning rocket stove to install in the homes of Indigenous Guatemalans that prevents them from inhaling toxic fumes created by cooking with open flames. After starting the program in mid-2014 Carlos realized to truly make an impact, he would need a broader support mechanism to help the people of Guatemala.  Led by Rotary through partnerships with other charities and the private sector, the Guatemalan East Rotary Clean Stove Program has grown from a handful of stoves at inception to now over 3,000 stoves placed in homes and schools across the region. 
“Sometimes the simplest things in life matter the most.  Many of us take cooking for granted without realizing for many women and children it can be deadly.  To see the relief we can bring to these women, children and families shows us how vital it is having programs like this.  Being the bridge that connects many Rotarians hearts with the hands of women who´s dream in life is having a stove it´s truly heart-warming.  The special love that each Rotarian I have met gives me, and the support we have received from our Friends in Hudson and around the globe, keeps me motivated in making more dreams come true and feeling fortunate to be part of a great team.” said Carlos Galvez, Guatemala East Rotary.

 Clubs from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Guatemala Unite to Save Lives

Under the leadership of Dr. Young and Linda Robertson, the Hudson Daybreak Rotary Club set forth a mission to be involved both financially and physically to aid in improving lives of indigenous Guatemalans. In January 2017, that mission turned into reality when a team from Daybreak Rotary spent a week building stoves in Guatemala along with a $5,000 donation to the Guatemalan East Rotary Clean Stove Program.
This inaugural trip made clear the even greater impact that the Daybreak Rotary could have in the future. On January 4 – 11, 2018, Daybreak volunteers Amy Schneider, Brian Elwood, Chris Wood, Dave Drewiske, Kitt Drewiske (Dave’s daughter), Jamie Johnson, Jill McNamee, and Linda Robertson worked with Carlos and his team to build seventeen more stoves.
In addition to Daybreak Rotary’s commitment, the local Rotary District 5960, which covers clubs in Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota, also provided a grant that allowed the total financial commitment for the project in 2018 to increase to $12,933. At a cost of $69/stove, the Daybreak Rotary Club has helped provide a safe cooking options for over 250 homes in Guatemala. The Chapina Bonita Stove project has built over 4200 stoves since it began in 2014.
Although the Daybreak Team is new to building stoves, aspirations grow every year the club sends more people to help the people of Guatemala. The Daybreak Club has now set their sights on winning a Global Rotary Grant which would be a minimum donation of $33,000 to the Chapina Bonita Stove Project. 
“Knowing the Daybreak Rotary Club has done so many great things in the greater Hudson Community gives me great pride. The pride has gone to a whole new level seeing what our small group in Hudson has done to empower women, improve the health of the family and protect the environment of indigenous Guatemalans by participating in the construction and funding of clean cooking stoves.  It gives me and my fellow Rotarians great joy knowing we are making a difference one stove at a time.  Ask any women with a new stove and they will tell you it is their “gift of happiness,” said Linda Robertson, Hudson Daybreak Rotary,” said Linda Robertson, Hudson Daybreak Rotary.

These stoves prevent serious sight and respiratory illnesses, relieves headaches and eye irritation.  Ecological benefits protects the forest because of the reduced consumption of 70% to 80% of firewood and helps the family economy.  In addition, women have expressed their happiness, appreciation and love to the stove for the convenience of cooking in an environment without pollution. 

If you would like to participate in a Global Grant or make a direct donation please contact us.

For more information on the stove project click here:   Club Rotario Guatemala