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mpmarini 05-31-2008 12:54 PM

Greetings from: Nicaragua
Hello all,
Apparently i'm the newest member to the site. I'm currently volunteering here in Nicaragua, and will continue to do so until April of 2010, and was considering trying to build an outdoor oven in the back yard of a Maternity House here. The house is a sort of home base where women from very rural areas with no health service access come to live in the weeks before giving birth to ensure that they themselves and their babies are healthy and can be attended to when the moment comes. I give health classes to the mostly uneducated women, who often cannot read (which poses problems). As the house's funding is running low, they need another form of income to prevent its closure, and as there are no bakeries per say in the town (but some bread shipped from elsewhere) I figured that giving the often bored ladies the opportunity to bake to escape the monotony and in a way that would support the home would be a great multifaceted solution. Thus, I'd like to build an oven.

Money is super tight and cement and limited amounts of concrete blocks are likely my only available construction materials, so I was wondering if anyone had any money-saving tips or suggestions.

Hope all is well with everyone!

Frances 05-31-2008 01:37 PM

Re: Greetings from: Nicaragua
Wow, now that sounds worthwhile! If you can figure out a way to build an oven with the materials available, you could teach them how to build build ovens, too.

How about clay, can you get hold of or dig up any? I would guess that without access to at least red bricks, a clay oven would probably be your best bet. Here's one thread that might help:

...and welcome to the forum. I hope your oven building project works out, and I'd love to hear more about it!

CajunKnight 05-31-2008 01:43 PM

Re: Greetings from: Nicaragua
Welcome to the site. If its ideas you need you are at the right place. Hope your project comes to life soon and we are anxious to see it along the way.

dmun 05-31-2008 01:53 PM

Re: Greetings from: Nicaragua
Here's a couple of links about groups in Guatemala that are building stoves and ovens for the poor, who now use inefficient open fires for cooking:

MHA News - 2008 Meeting at Wildacres
Masons on a Mission

It looks like it's pretty brick intensive, but you might get some ideas.

Frances 06-01-2008 02:29 AM

Re: Greetings from: Nicaragua
Interesting links dmun. That second one shows how they make their own bricks - now there's an idea...

This site looks as if it might be usefull, too:

Bread For All: Wattle and Daub Earth Oven

Bread For All: Earth Oven Adventure

I noticed that you can order the books in electronic form for a relatively nominal amount. Helpfull?

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