CABALLO DE TROYA
Marco Guerra and his wife, Ana Luisa Herrera started the EcoComal factory near Antigua, Guatemala in 2008 to manufacture and distribute clean cookstoves. With little more than $80 in their pocket and the determination to succeed, they designed the Ecocina stove that has had cascading effects on their business’ vision. Their work has improved the health and safety of the surrounding community by transforming the traditional method of cooking from dangerous open fires to clean cookstoves.
"What fun it was to work closely with Andrew as he highlighted StoveTeam’s work in Guatemala. His film elegantly showed the problem of open cooking fires, and it was wonderful to hear the impact of clean cookstoves directly from stove recipients. Many films are made for an English speaking audience and for fund-raising, however this one was a specific challenge as it was for local mayors who speak Spanish.
Andrew and I worked closely both before and after our week in Guatemala, and although he had not previously been aware of the dangers of open cooking fires, he soon became an expert. His knowledge of Spanish was helpful, and he was appropriately kind, sympathetic and interested in the factory workers, women and children he interviewed.
Throughout it all, he insisted on top quality photography. The video has already generated both interest and new income for StoveTeam International. I can't hardly wait to work with Andrew again!"
– Nancy Hughes, President and Founder, StoveTeam International, 2016
Smoke from cooking fires is the deadliest threat to women and children under age 5 in the developing world. StoveTeam International assists local entrepreneurs in Latin America to establish self-sustaining businesses to produce safe, affordable, fuel-efficient cookstoves to replace dangerous open cooking fires. Local factories stimulate economic growth by sourcing local materials, employing workers in the community, and providing business opportunities to their customers using these clean cookstoves.
The EcoComal factory in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala, exemplifies StoveTeam International’s model in clean cookstove manufacturing and distribution. The success of this factory largely rides on the broad vision of its owners to build partnerships with municipal governments, grow their customer base through education and awareness, and provide education and support to the children of many of their local customers.
IDEA AND RESULT
We produced a 5-minute short film to inspire future factory owners to create their own factories, and engage municipal governments to build partnerships with StoveTeam International’s network of factories. We wanted to spotlight the dangers and risks of traditional open cooking fires, to show the sustainable business model of StoveTeam International-sponsored factories, and to highlight the broader vision of the EcoComal factory to create an ecosystem surrounding their services.
Caballo de Troya (Trojan Horse) features the Ecocina stove as the protagonist and vehicle through which we understand StoveTeam International’s unique solution to this underreported public health issue and the partnerships their sponsored factories rely on to succeed. Through this approach we were able to weave together the numerous stories of Ecocina stove users, families at risk due to open cooking fires, and EcoComal’s unique approach to community outreach and education.
The film was featured in April 2016 for the launch of StoveTeam International’s “50 for $50” fundraising campaign to provide stoves to 50 women in need in rural Guatemala.