A New Impresario: Cooking Up Connections

We are now in a drive to raise our monthly giving numbers. Little amounts given by lots of people creates stability for us. This stability allows us to connect brilliant people to generous people. Our work gives local folks trapped in poverty a better chance at building their dreams. Tom introduces you to one of our new projects in the blog below. Consider clicking here and giving a little each month. It matters!

And now from rural Guatemala:

Cooking Up Connections by Tom Hornyak, FTF Field Worker, 2018-2020

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According to Walter, our latest FTF Impresario, community is extremely important. After hearing about Abraham (our impresario with the tuition free school) he became moved and decided to donate at least 10 percent of his earning to the school. “At the end of the day, it’s about the children,”, 

His idea? Cooking classes. There are about 3 cooking schools in all of Guatemala (and they are a bit pricey) There are two near the capital and another near lake Atitlan. He essentially wants to offer a unique education to foreign and domestic tourists as a way to showcase Momostenango cuisine and give back to his community.  His work and his profits will include a shared value profit model, supporting Abraham and his school for indigent kids. We love this concept. Synergy, sustainability… and all of it local!

Dona Theresa, Walter’s mother, will run the school. She has lived in Momostenango her whole life and everyone knows her. Walter believes having a female face at the head of the business will attract more people. Her sister is also a renown cook from a nearby village. They will be the face and teachers of the cooking school. They have a slew of plates they have been making for years. Their restaurant is big enough for groups with plenty of space and a beautiful view of the area from the second floor.

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They will feature a menu which people can choose different kind of plates they want to learn to cook. The idea is that in the morning, the clients will accompany the ladies to the market to buy ingredients. After coming back, class begins and after a couple hours of preparing, lunch will be served along with printed recipes. There was even talk of preparing extra dishes that can be delivered to Abraham’s school to feed the teachers and students in addition of a small school tour. Then participants can then actually see how Walter and his family are giving back to the community.

Things that make thus a promising project:

  • They already have the space, skills and equipment. They need marketing help which is something we can easily provide.

  • Quetzaltenango, or Xela, is the second biggest city in the country as is extremely close and easy to travel to and from with direct busses. The ride is 45 minutes by car, 1.5 hours by public bus.

  • Momostenango is remote and often overlooked, thus can offer the authentic rural experience. 

  • Walter has agreed to donate a portion of the money back to the community by giving to Abraham’s school to benefit the children. People like to know their money s being used back into the community.

  • Walter is really pushing for natural foods and away from modified stuff. Seven Day Adventists like to eat healthy. Perfect for people with special dietary preferences. It’s his personal mission to get the community eating better. He has a high levels of expectations when it comes to cleanliness which will reduce chances of people getting upset stomachs, thanks to his experience working at Whole Foods.

  • There is also a possibility of offering baking classes that could be led by our master baker impresario, Dario. 

  • There is a vibrant local market for vocational training. Folks love going to school for practical reasons in this part of the world.

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We will be helping them out by marketing their business to local language schools and hostels as a day trip package. Our Keipi Journeys will bring sojourners here. We will also create an online presence with them through google maps, a website and TripAdvisor. 

Your volunteer ideas are more than welcome. Do you know the art of deliciousness? Consider a trip to visit us in Guatemala. Lots to do, lots to love.