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  • Writer's pictureMaría Teresa Puac V.

Preserving the Past, Building the Future: A Holiday Reflection

With GIVING TUESDAY just around the corner on NOVEMBER 28th, we're excited to bring you our second newsletter in the "Gifts that Keep Giving" series. Last year, your generosity made a world of difference, and we're eager to share more inspiring stories of how your contributions are preserving our history and shaping a brighter future.


Preserving the Past, Building the Future: A Holiday Reflection

As we get into the holiday season, we often find ourselves reflecting on cherished traditions passed down through generations. These traditions hold our fondest memories and connect us to our roots. Yet, some traditions, while filled with warmth and nostalgia, reflect aspects of life better left in the past. This is the case with one of my most treasured memories, the Noche Buena dinner at my grandmother's house. Here we call Christmas Eve Noche Buena.

To celebrate Noche Buena, the entire family comes together to prepare traditional Guatemalan dishes that require hours of hard work, beginning in the early morning. Amidst anecdotes and laughter, we collaborate on creating a memorable meal. But, like all traditions, this one has evolved over the years.

Whenmy grandmother was a young girl, the holidays meant rising before sunrise, facing cold, ice-covered roads, and venturing into the mountains with her parents and siblings. Their mission was to chop firewood and carry it back home for her mother to use in cooking. Listening to her stories, I'm reminded of the sacrifices and challenges she faced.

These days, as my grandmother shares her memories of past traditions, they’re often punctuated by a persistent cough. This cough has become a chronic issue, a lasting reminder of her more than five decades spent cooking over an open fire. Though she abandoned this method over 20 years ago, the effects linger. The constant exposure to smoke also took a toll on her vision. As much as she loves to pass down traditions, she never wishes us to endure the same hardships.

This is why I'm passionate about our work at Tu’ik Ruch’ Lew. With an efficient, clean-burning cook stove, a family can share moments, enjoy time together, and build fresh, happy memories around the heat in their kitchen, without the many health and safety risks of an open fire.

In the image below, one of our recent beneficiaries carries her grandson. To the TRL team, this image symbolizes the generational legacy of love and warmth we aim to continue–with your support.


This Giving Tuesday, consider joining us in our mission to provide energy-efficient, clean burning stoves to more families. Let's create a future where traditions are filled with joy, togetherness, and improved health.

Stay tuned for more stories and updates, and thank you for being a vital part of our TRL family.

Maria Teresa Puac V.

Communications Coordinator

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