Posted by: gullette | November 24, 2020

Current and forthcoming work in the San Juan del Sur area: November 2020


Listen to what famed chef José Andrés has to say on this issue:

By José Andrés

Today, nearly half the world’s population still depends on open fires and solid fuels to cook their meals. Millions of people—mostly women, who do the cooking, and their children—die every year because of the smoke and pollution from these fires. Their children, usually daughters, may spend hours each day gathering wood, keeping them out of school and putting them into dangerous situations as they go out alone and unprotected. Cutting trees for fuel leads to deforestation, causing landslides and erosion of fertile land that can run off into the ocean, damaging coral reefs and marine ecosystems. It is a negative feedback loop with huge consequences, and it costs the global economy trillions of dollars annually.

The solution to this global crisis is simple but amazing: clean cooking. If we are able to introduce cleaner, modern cooking energy, and cookstoves for families and communities around the world, we can reverse this negative cycle with a positive one: mothers can cook safely for their families; more daughters can earn an education; forests, soils and reefs can be restored; and the climate can start to heal. Clean cooking is truly the best investment we can make for a healthier humanity and a healthier planet.

Andrés is a chef and the founder of World Central Kitchen


The twin hurricanes, ETA and IOTA back to back, have the San Juan del Sur region reeling. No deaths in our region (so far) but our friends on the ground are involved in simultaneous Hurricane relief and anti-COVID measures. Nearby Tola was hit by flooding harder than San Juan del Sur proper, but they are neighbors, so it’s all hands on the muddy deck! Our employee Jordan Marín, who along with his wife and two kids was almost killed when a drunk driver hit their motorcycle, has been distributing PPE in the form of masks, alcohol gel, soap, and good advice.

When the land dries out (which in ordinary times it would be doing in mid-November) Jordan will begin an ambitious EcoStove project in several communities along the old “hypotenuse” road to Rivas called La Chocolata (named after the train whose old rail-bed is the road today). Our new stove model, invented by our friend Carlos Vidal Tenorio, uses only a little cement and iron rebar, depending mainly on a mix of sifted clay-rich earth and sifted dried-out horse manure as a “binder” to make our Compressed Earth Blocks, of which the stove itself is constructed. Photos can be found at

To help us expand the use of these stoves (with chimneys, to get toxic smoke out of house and lungs) please go to the Contribute page of this website (or just click “Donate Now” to the right of the stove).


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