You immediately know when you have stepped into a school thatis still using charcoal as the sole source for cooking fuel. Smoke fills the kitchen, and your eyes start watering immediately. This method of cooking is the fourth largest cause of disease in developing countries and 90% of Haiti is still dependent on charcoal or wood as the primary fuel for cooking.
Households, restaurants, and schools are affected by the toxic smoke caused by the use of these harmful fuels. Through Haiti Breathes, a collaborative project with Switch Haiti, school kitchens are being converted from charcoal stoves to liquid gas. This project will not only convert 100 Haitian schools to gas, but will also provide a kitchen renovation to at least 50 schools by December, 2015.
In February, 2015, our Founder, José Andrés, with Executive Director, Brian MacNair, and Board Treasurer, Rob Wilder, visited Haiti to witness the impact of this project. Scroll the pictures below to see how transformative a school kitchen renovation is to the people of Haiti.