College Park restaurant owners lead nonprofit mission trips to Guatemala

Faith Project International helps impoverished women health

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - It's something most of us take for granted, a stove in our homes. But for families in Guatemala, it's considered a luxury. That's why an Orlando couple founded Faith Project International, a non-profit that builds stoves in the third-world country.

Brad Cowherd and his wife, Christina, own Infusion Tea in College Park. According to Cowherd, many Guatemalan women are forced to cook over an open flame, breathing harmful smoke and as a result, women suffer from frequent respiratory and eye infections.

"The women often have lung cancer. It 's just over and over and over again we were exposed to families who really needed some help and just to get the smoke out of the house," Cowherd said. "Imagine if you can for a hundred dollars make a difference in a family of 12's life."

The organization provides the $50 metal cook top for the wood burning, brick stoves. The other materials, like bricks and adobe, can easily be gathered in the communities, says Cowherd.

Volunteers teach the local women how to build the stoves. Then representatives from Faith Project International return to the villages to confirm the stoves are constructed correctly.

"We often come back and see a family and the men will be so proud, they will be like 'Look what my wife built,'" said Cowherd.

Cowherd estimates Faith Project International has built about 10,000 stoves.

The group is planning another trip to Guatemala at the end of November.  To learn more about how you can contribute or if you'd like to go on a mission trip, just visit their website or Facebook page.

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