Clean Cook-stoves for Toro Toro


Toro Toro is a municipality located in the North West side of the Potosi department. At the present days is one of the most important National Parks of Bolivia due to its importance of Paleontology and Caving studies. Therefore it’s also considered one of the most important tourist attractions in Bolivia by the wide variety of dinosaur footprints throughout the region and other natural attractions. It is located 4 hours from the city of Cochabamba by bus.

Due to the distance and the physical characteristics of the region, many families use firewood for food preparation, because the LPG gas has a higher price of $ 7 bottle of 10 kilos (regular price is $ 3). Schools are no exception, so the boys / girls and parents have the task of acquiring firewood for school food preparation and teachers in many cases are those who prepare meals in the traditional stove being exposed to smoke. It’s a daily activity until the school year ends.

We received our first disbursement from GlobalGiving by the last days of January and were able to officially begin our project then. Since some time had passed from when we wrote the project it was necessary to check in with the local authorities and reconfirm and modify information and important changes we might not have been aware of.

In Bolivia, the school year begins in February and ends at the end of November.  In February of this year we also celebrated Carnival. Traditionally in the rural areas, the children do not return to classes until after Carnival and so it was mid February before we were able to renew contact with Professor Pedro Gimenez, who is the District School Director for the municipality of Toro Toro, which as mentioned above is in the department (state) of Potosi.

Mr. Gimenez was pleased to know that we had begun to receive financing for the clean stove and environmental education project and asked us to visit the area so that we could work out the details in person.

We have scheduled :

  • a 2 to 3 day trip to meet with Professor Gimenez for the first week of March.
  • Are reviewing the project and looking for areas that we may need to revise to meet current local conditions.
  • Are preparing a written agreement as a draft agreement, which we intend to execute with Professor Gimenez, community representatives and someone from the Municipal government. (That will insure that enough parties are involved and in agreement on what we intend to do so that beyond the Director we also have collaboration for the student’s families and local authorities.)

During this trip we expect to acquire a map with secondary roads designated, and know the locations of all the communities and schools where we will be executing the project. This information is not publicly available in Bolivia. We will also interview one or more local authority so that they can participate as possible in the project.

Once we have this information we will be able to polish our time table and begin the base line study. Once we have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Director, he will be able to help us establish a schedule to visit each school and do the surveys and field tests.

In Bolivia it is important to work with all the people involved at every decision stage in order to insure their collaboration.

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