November 2, 2021

Cleaner cookstoves making a difference in Mexico

Nearly $500,000 donation from Sempra Foundation supports energy access and emissions reductions in vulnerable and Indigenous communities

A woman cooks on an improvised stove in Mexico

Energy is essential to the most basic activities of daily life, yet hundreds of millions of people lack access to clean energy, fuels and technologies. In Mexico, the use of open-fire stoves is common among marginalized populations and as a result, some households cook indoors using firewood.

Through a grant of nearly $500,000 to Fundación Molzcati, Sempra Foundation is providing cleaner cookstoves to more than 20,000 people in 28 communities across Mexico, reaching nearly 2,400 households in the states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Morelos, Nuevo Leon and Puebla.

“At Sempra Foundation, we strive to advance social progress and economic inclusion by supporting energy access for those who lack vital resources,” said Mitch Mitchell, director and vice chair of Sempra Foundation. “By providing cleaner cookstoves in Mexico, we are furthering our goal of building an equitable future for all by enabling these families to prepare their meals safely and efficiently while also helping to reduce emissions.”

Cleaner Cooking Means Cleaner Air — and More Opportunity

A woman cooks on an improvised stove in her kitchen in Mexico

The cleaner cookstoves are replacing three-stone stoves or U-type stoves that openly burn firewood and are expected to reduce the consumption of firewood by about 9,000 tons per year. Burning firewood exposes families to smoke and indoor air pollution, especially harmful to women and children who, in these communities, generally spend more time indoors than men.

The new cookstoves are also portable and can be used to prepare food for sale at local markets, creating a source of income that can immediately improve economic conditions for families and communities. Additionally, the cookstoves are designed to serve a dual purpose, doubling as heaters for families who may not have another source of warmth in the cold winter months.

Strong Partnership is Driving Results

A woman poses for a portrait with her new stove in Mexico

Fundación Mozcalti, a nonprofit organization based in Tijuana, Baja California, has already delivered nearly 1,500 cleaner cookstoves to families across three states. The organization’s mission is to empower vulnerable communities in Mexico with a focus on education, health, basic needs, and social entrepreneurship.

“We are so happy to work with Sempra Foundation on this project that will have direct, positive impacts on the lives in our most vulnerable communities in Mexico,” said Martha T. Malagamba C., executive director of Fundación Mozcalti. “Many women and children are exposed to smoke from cooking with firewood and also spend significant time collecting fuel for cooking. The cleaner cookstoves will not only eliminate the harmful smoke, but also give them more time to pursue education and other work.”

Children sit patiently in the grass while adults learn how to assemble their new cookstoves