I feed my animals; I water the plants; I work; and I cook.
When I was cooking on the conventional stove, it released a lot of smoke. The smoke filled the living room and bedrooms, so the whole house smelled like smoke. The smell of smoke also penetrated my clothes and my eyes burned every time I cooked.
I used to spend between 30-35 Peruvian Nuevos Soles (about $10-12) buying wood or gas. If I used gas, I had to buy a ball of gas that costs 35 Nuevo Soles (about $12), and if I used the wood stove, I had to buy firewood bundles. Monthly, I would spend 30 Nuevos Soles (about $10) on bundles.
I never imagined I would have an improved kitchen. I did not even know it existed. Now that I have one and I see the benefits, I tell my neighbors and encourage them to get one.
Editor's note: Julia Olaya Valencia, 64, and her husband Merced Lequernaqué León, 93, live in Vichayal, a small town in Paita Province, located in the Piura Region of Peru. They are participants in the project Sustainable Livelihoods in the Rural Community of San Lucas de Colan.