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Guatemala is a Latin American country with a high level of social and economic inequality, which makes life in rural areas very difficult. 40% of the population is composed of indigenous groups that currently cook in unventilated brick lodgings, which prevent thick smoke from being released. Consequently, indigenous people suffer from severe respiratory health complications compounded by their lack of access to minimum health care facilities. Organizations such as the Highland Support Project (HSP) work to improve the livelihood of indigenous Guatemalans through transformational development by modifying social, economic, political and cultural systems. These new stoves that include chimneys can decrease the risk of having acute lower-respiratory illnesses. Improved-stove projects mitigate the negative effects of smoke on health and accommodate the different ethnic and cultural backgrounds of indigenous people.

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

Public Health, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Jason Levy


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

The Health Ramifications of Poorly Ventilated Cooking Areas in the Indigenous
Populations of Guatemala