Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires – the primary means of cooking and heating for nearly three billion people in the developing world – causes more than 4 million premature deaths annually, including over 5,000 deaths in Guatemala, every year.

Exposure to smoke from cooking contributes to a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts such as early childhood pneumonia, emphysema, cataracts, lung cancer, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, and low birth weight. Women and young children are the most affected, with 1,300 children in Guatemala dying annually as a result of acute lower respiratory infections caused by the use of solid fuels.

More than 60% of Guatemala’s population relies on wood fuel for their household cooking and heating needs. Reliance on biomass for cooking and heating leads to environmental degradation from increased pressure on local natural resources and forces women and children to spend many hours each week collecting wood. Inefficient cooking also contributes to climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and aerosols such as black carbon.


Clean Cooking Can Help

The use of cleaner and more efficient cookstoves and fuels can dramatically reduce exposure to harmful cooking smoke, can provide myriad economic opportunities for Guatemalans, and can help reduce forest degradation and slow climate change. More efficient stoves and cleaner fuels also reduce the time people—usually women and girls—need to spend collecting fuel, freeing up time for income generating activities or education.



Guatemala has seen steady advancement in transforming the cookstoves and fuels. Highlights include:

  • The National Program for Competitiveness (PRONACOM), the Guatemalan Ministry of Environment and the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Alliance creating a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Activities Facility generate microcredit options for clean cookstoves and fuels, supporting stove testing, and conducting market research.
  • Guatemala’s First Lady Patricia Marroquin became a public advocate for clean cooking, kicking off her work by helping launch a program to equip kitchens in 200 schools with clean cookstoves.
  • The opening of Guatemala’s first stove store. Called “Estufas Mejoradas y Mas” (Improved Stoves and More), the store is run by women entrepreneurs working in the sector and is supported by the Municipal Women’s Office and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
  • The completion of an Alliance-led behavior change communication campaign to reach 350,000 consumers in the state of Sacatepéquez. The campaign included market activations, digital media outreach, and marketing messages distributed via flyers, local cable, and radio.
Country Statistics
Population using solid fuels for cooking - 64%
Number of people affected by HAP - 10,450,000
Number of deaths per year from HAP - 4,400
13-5: Pilot Innovation Fund Round 2
Pilot Innovation Fund Round II: Applied Sunshine LLC
Applied Sunshine LLC
2014 - Guatemala
13-6 Women’s Empowerment Fund
WEF Grant: Soluciones Apropiadas, S.A
Soluciones Apropiadas, S.A
2014 - Guatemala
Carbon Finance, Impact Investing and Market Development Grants
Agora Accelerator Guatemala
Agora Partnerships
2014 - Guatemala
Market Manager

Richard Grinnell
Regional Director of Market Development, Latin America