Nicaragua's Continuing Crisis and its
Impacts on the Avanza Factory
Conflict in Nicaragua ignited on April 18 th . Now, four months later, Nicaragua and its people continue to face political turmoil, resulting in severe economic distress and social upheaval. Because of the current situation, there has been widespread departures by for-profit and nonprofit foreign entities due to safety concerns. Additionally, nationwide blockades carried out by anti-Ortega protesters have halted commerce and transport.
 
Factory managers Elida and Marvin continue to employ austerity measures to keep both the factory open and employees working, however due to the long-term duration of this crisis, times are only getting more difficult. Stove sales have gone from a max of 200 stoves sold per month to about 50 sold in July. Stoves currently being sold are going to communities within and around Estelí, Nicaragua where the factory is located. Elida informed StoveTeam staff that FOCAEP, a Nicaraguan agency, is now their primary resource for stove subsidies. Subsidized stoves are sold at a cost of around $12. Even with the support of FOCAEP, Marvin and Elida are concerned for the factory’s future. Marvin shared, “ all of the international missions that bought [and helped distribute] our stoves are no longer in our country. As a factory we are going through a very difficult time .”
 
Just like you, we are worried and unsure as to when Nicaragua will find peace. For now, StoveTeam is dedicated to promoting the purchase of stoves from Fábrica Avanza. Stoves bought from the factory will help to keep employees working, the factory in motion, and allow Marvin and Elida to continue to provide subsidized stoves to those who need them most. During this time of crisis, the savings in fuel costs alone could be the difference between feeding one's family or not. If you would like to support Fábrica Avanza, please consider purchasing a stove for $50. Your support will have a powerful ripple effect that extends far past the doors of Fábrica Avanza. You can also share this message with your family, friends, and local Rotary clubs to encourage them to help. If you're interested in starting a campaign and asking others to support Nicaragua, you can get start here .
Stove Facts
Country Profile: Nicaragua
Nicaragua is located in Central America with a population of nearly 6 million people. 54% of Nicaraguans use solid fuels (like wood, dung or crop residue) for cooking. Sadly, in Nicaragua, 2,373 people die each year from exposure to hazardous air pollution caused by open cooking fires. To fuel these harmful fires, families spend roughly $12.50 on firewood each week - a steep cost considering that 75% of Nicaraguans live on less than $2 a day.

To ignite change and fight against these harmful realities, Fábrica Avanza was founded in 2016 in partnership with Friends of Families United, a nonprofit that provides housing and education for low-income families in Nicaragua. The factory’s founding was greatly supported by Rotary clubs such as Springfield Rotary, Albany Rotary, Eugene Delta Rotary, Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary, Rotary Club of East Wenatchee, Wenatchee North Rotary, Rotary Club of Jasper, and Mercer Island Rotary.
 
Prior to April, Fábrica Avanza had produced and sold over 1,500 stoves and was quickly connecting themselves to partners both domestically and internationally. Their strength has always been their dedication to raising awareness, having made television appearances, being featured on radio broadcasts, and partnering with aid agencies and churches. Your support today will help ensure they continue to raise awareness about the dangers of open fire cooking and provide safe, affordable, and fuel-efficient cookstoves to as many Nicaraguan families as possible.
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