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Roxana Yamileth Leonor

Throughout her childhood, Roxana struggled to breathe. She suffered from asthma and chronic bronchitis and sinus problems. It never seemed to get better, but it definitely worsened around her family’s smoky open cooking fire inside their home. She frequently missed school and was eventually held back a year due to her illness. A doctor confirmed that her constant exposure to smoke was aggravating her health problems, and had possibly caused them in the first place.

When Roxana was 17, a community outreach worker from the Village Network came to her village in El Salvador and approached her family about purchasing a fuel-efficient Ecocina stove. The worker told them that the stove would eliminate the smoke in their home and reduce the air pollution that had bothered Roxana for so many years. The family bought a stove on the spot.

The change was dramatic. Her health improved almost immediately and soon she was able to return to school. She worked diligently to make up the year of school she had missed, and she is now set to graduate from high school on time with her class. The fuel-efficient stove has also saved their family money; they used to spend $10 at a time on firewood and now spend just $2.

Roxana and her mother, Julissa, traveled half a day to provide feedback about the stove at a recent stakeholder meeting hosted by the El Salvador factory. The Ecocina stove has changed their lives.