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Study Abroad | July 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Serve!

Faith Winston

The village of Umasbamba is an hour bus ride from the city of Cusco and today we came here for the first time to start our service learning project. We partnered with Kaya Responsible Travel in order to help build sustainable cooking stoves and restore the kitchens. After being welcomed with music and dancing from the community and getting to know the people we would be working with, we received training on the work that we would be doing for the next two and a half weeks. We used "ladrillos" (bricks) and "barro" (mud) to build the stove and the chimney. Although it may seem small, these efforts are essential in improving air quality and preventing lung disease, pneumonia, and other breathing complications that can occur as a result of inhaling the smoke and soot that contains harmful chemicals. Through this process, we have learned that seemingly small acts can save lives and improve the health of families and communities. I am proud of our work and the people around me who have made serving a fun experience. (originally published June 14, 2017)