ROCKLAND, Maine — J. Patrick Manley of Washington, a stone mason by trade who started the charitable organization Masons on a Mission, will speak on “Laying Foundations for Change,” 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at First Universalist Church in Rockland, 345 Broadway.
Manley will present a slide show detailing the experiences of his 17 years of building stoves in Guatemala. Light refreshments will be served.
Manley started traveling in the winter of 2000 to remote villages in the western highlands of Guatemala to build stoves for the Mayan people who live in the higher elevations of 5000 to 10,000 feet. Millions of Mayan people burn open wood fires inside their dwellings both for cooking and as a source of heat. Since these fires are unvented, the entire family breathes in the toxic smoke causing a variety of respiratory illnesses and even blindness. Ventilated stoves provide a solution to this problem.
In an effort to increase his outreach to these people, Manley created Masons on a Mission to raise awareness and funds for the project. Every year he organizes groups of volunteers to go to Guatemala during the month of March to build stoves. Fundraising efforts continue via the Masons on a Mission website and various presentations conducted throughout the country.
The cost of materials for each stove is $150 with all materials purchased locally giving a boost to the local economy. Each volunteer is required to raise a minimum of $300 to pay for the materials for two of the stoves that they help to build.
There is no admission fee, but donations will be accepted at the door. Masons on a Mission is a tax exempt 501 C (3) charitable foundation. All donations are tax deductible.