As a retired engineer and board member for Hands for Peacemaking Foundation I am continually amazed at the engineering inventiveness of our Guatemala team.
The Aller stove continues to be upgraded for efficiencies (less wood, less time collecting wood and many fewer trees cut down) along with the health benefits of ducting the smoke to the outside. Engineering challenges include better fire brick, better stove pipe designs and materials to increase draft and lessen corrosion problems. Chemical and Mechanical Engineering for heat transfer, metal preparation, gas flows, and materials of construction.
Water systems, collection of rainwater during the wet season, and stored in tanks for the dry season. Structural concerns for the tank foundations, a sturdy support for the collection (simple but elegant use of corrugated steel with an aluminum/zinc alloy coating to minimize corrosion to avoid lead that might be present in traditional galvanized steel). Final treatment of the water before use with a simple but effective filter. Civil engineering/Environmental engineering for structures and water quality
The new manufacturing facility in Quetzaltenango (Xela) for increased production of the stoves, to meet a national and regional demand to get away from open fires for cooking. Industrial Engineering is required to optimize production and material flow, and mechanical and civil engineering for tooling and structures.
All these projects require engineering (a lot of it is done by the team in Barris). HFPF not only helps with the funding of these projects, but also for technical support from partners like Burn Design Lab, City University, and a successful intern program with Western Washington State University.
Education, construction of schools in the villages, and skills training in the manufacturing facility in Barrias, such as metalworking and welding.
The sum of all these initiatives allows our partners in Guatemala to provide health, economic and educational opportunities to the villagers that would not be available otherwise.
HFPF also returns to the villages to repair, service, provide more training and take data to keep our commitment going and continually improve the products based on customer use.