Cocinas Mejoradas Photo Blog

       MEDLIFE completed our first round of fuel efficient stove projects in Yuncaypata during the Winter Mobile Clinic season. Over the span of two week-long volunteer trips 18 kitchens were renovated. The results were amazing. Most of the people in Yuncaypata used wood burning stoves to cook, basically just a firepit, and do not have chimneys. The effects of the exposure to that much wood-smoke are extremely harmful to health, causing respiritatory and cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, lung cancer and strokes. Prolonged exposure, which is what you get when you cook over a wood stove every day, can also cause cataracs, which are typically untreated in these communities and lead to impaired vision. The physical labor of collecting wood and cooking over an ineffecient wood stove is also very time consuming. MEDLIFE’s fuel efficient stoves funnel smoke out of the home, use much less wood and cook faster. 


Light beams illuminate smoke as it fills the home of somone cooking with a traditional wood stove.


A window so stained with smoke you cannot see through it, imagine what this did to this home owners lungs.


Volunteers begin working in a home while the owner cooks for her children. The smoke made them cough after a couple of minutes. 


Before the kitchen was renovated by MEDLIFE. The smoke stained windows and lightbulbs cast a yellow glow over everything.


The same kitchen after MEDLIFE renovated it, with the new stove in the corner and clear white light.







A kitchen part way through construction.


The base that is heated by the fire holds heat extremely well, and is made of a mixture of materials that can be collected in the community; human hair, sugar, salt, beer bottles, and adobe.


The mixture being packed into the stove frame.







Cooking on a new fuel efficient stove. She said that the new stove saves her hours of time per day.


A chimney pumps smoke out of the house.


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.