The GSP is a volunteer-driven registered Canadian charity under #871977617RR0001. It was started in 1999 by Canadian carpenter Tom Clarke. In the first year under the guidance of mason Don Juan Puac, Tom built six stoves. Since then, counting the 20 or so stoves built by volunteers traveling to Guatemala each winter, the GSP has funded over 5,000 stoves. Most of these stoves have been built by local Mayan masons employed by our Guatemalan partners as funds are available. That’s 5,000 families living in cleaner kitchens, breathing unpolluted air.
There are two active chapters of the GSP, the founding group in Perth Ontario and the Ottawa Chapter. Each group meets about every 6 weeks to plan fundraising events and keep in touch with events in Guatemala.
The GSP works in partnership with 3 Guatemalan NGOs – CEDEC (Centro de Estudios Para el Desarrollo y la Cooperacion), AMI (Asociacion Mujeres de Ixchel) and AMMID (Asociacion Maya-Mam de Investigacion Y Desarrollo) in the Departments of Totonicapán, Sololá, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos. The Guatemala Stove Project has partnered with many other NGO’s on various projects.
The Guatemala Stove Project:
- adheres to Canadian legal reporting requirements as a registered charity.
- is run entirely by volunteers. Each chapter has a coordinator who reports into a centralized coordinating committee and ultimately to the Directors.
- works with its local partners to identify families and villages most in need
- documents its work extensively, photographing each stove, cataloging the names of each member of the receiving family. Each person or organization who donates the cost of a stove (i.e. $265 CAD) receives a photograph of the stove surrounded by family members who received it, with a sincere “muchas gracias”.
- spends 93% of monies raised directly on projects in Guatemala with only 7% covering operating costs
- works continually to build good governance and financial procedures within the organization.