HELPS, International, Stove Team to Guatemala


VPC’s Monthly Mission Partner (MMP) Month


What does the mission do/who does it serve?

Since 2009, VPC has partnered with Helps International and the people of Guatemala to foster hope and health through the placement of water filters and replacement of open fires with safe, efficient stoves on teams of around 16 people.

For centuries, many people in third world countries have cooked using open fires on the floors of their one-room homes. This traditional method of cooking is the cause of many medical and environmental problems throughout the world.

After investigating the cultural and technological issues in the highlands of Guatemala, the following problems were identified by HELPS engineer, Don O’Neal:

  • High instances of facial and hand burns 

  • Excessive smoke inhalation 

  • Inefficient burning of wood contributes to Guatemala’s deforestation at a level of 2% per year.  

  • A detrimental health impact on women who cut and carry the wood.

What geographic area?

Nebaj, Santa Avelina, Guatemala

How do you do it?

HELPS International and Don O’Neal developed and implemented the internationally recognized ONIL Plancha Stove:  a manufactured, durable stove that minimizes smoke and burns, vents the smoke and reduces wood usage by 70%. 

Other benefits include:

  • A contained fire, reducing burns

  • An efficient burning technology which virtually eliminates smoke and deadly carbon monoxide in the home

  • Saves families two days per week from having to collect wood

How can one help/serve this mission? How and what can people donate? How can people volunteer?

The 2020 Guatemala stove team dates are March 14 - 23, 2020. You do not need to know Spanish nor possess any particular technical skills. On the job training is provided. There is a great deal of walking on dirt paths at an altitude of 5,000 feet or more. People with heart disease, COPD, or advanced knee or hip arthritis are not appropriate candidates.

Consider sponsoring a team member or making a donation to the team. Each individual is responsible for his/her airfare, meals, and rental vehicles and driver; the estimated total is $1800 to $2000 and is tax deductible. Passport fees and a few immunizations, if needed, are extra. Helping cover some of these expenses ensure a successful trip for our missionaries and our mission partner.

Annual, Bi-Annual or regular events, trips or fundraisers for this mission

  1. Trip every March

  2. Fundraising November through January

Is this a national or local organization?

International: US office in Dallas Texas


Venice Presbyterian Church Contact/Liaison

Name: Lois Weeks / Jim Weeks    Email:

Phone: Lois - 320-2503363 / Jim - 941-914-4188

 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains” (Colossians 4:2-3, NIV)