Cook Stove Project




Members of the cook stove team pose for a group photo at Operation Smile Global Headquarters in January 2020. From left to right: Brianna Lonergan, Jarrett Peterson, Jaime Erkobani and Sara Hatfield. Not pictured: Holly Zoeller.

Research conducted by Operation Smile and its partners has found a potential relationship between maternal smoke inhalation from cooking over an open flame and an increased risk of having a child with a cleft condition.

This is a call to action: In many developing countries where Operation Smile provides surgical care, many families cook over open stoves inside the home.

In an effort to boost the overall health of these families, Operation Smile will send a team of undergraduate volunteers to Chiapas, Mexico, where they’ll spend a week replacing open-flame stoves.

Operation Smile has teamed up with InfraRural, a Mexico City-based organization that builds and installs wood-burning cook stoves. The student team will work with InfraRural representatives to install the stoves, which are locally sourced, as well as teach families how to use them. They will also share lessons on nutrition and fire safety.



What: The cook stove project

Where: Chiapas, Mexico

When: Due to COVID-19, this field opportunity has been postponed until it’s safe to travel. Please keep checking for details.

Goal: Install 15 stoves

Cost: A stove costs $240, according to our partner InfraRural. The students are fundraising to cover the cost of the stoves. Each student will pay $1,500 for this trip.

Make a donation: Please consider supporting this project at

Give toward a student’s experience: If you’d like to contribute to a student’s experience, please visit, check the box that says  “

Support this Project

Shirts for Stoves

Purchase this special-edition shirt — which is available in different colors — and proceeds will go toward purchasing stoves.

Make a Donation

Contributing toward a clean cook stove isn’t just a one-time donation but a long-term investment in the health of a family. Your kindness will help them breathe easier, grow stronger and feel better every day.

Your donation will help cover the cost of the clean cook stoves purchased through our partner, Mexico City-based InfraRural. Each stove costs $240!

Consider making a donation here:

Support a Student

Our students must pay $1,500 to cover the costs associated with their travel, including airfare and lodging. If you’d like to contribute to a student’s experience, please visit, check the box that says  “This gift is in honor or in memory of someone,” and write his or her name in the “honoree” box.