by Irene Valdes-Wochinger, Guatemala Communications Officer
Students from the youth leadership program have been meeting every Friday afternoon to participate in an international cooking workshop, as part of this year’s youth program activities. The workshop is facilitated by sponsored student Luis Garcia and approximately 20 students participate in it, ranging from from 11 to 17 years old. Luis Garcia admits that at first it was a challenge to organize such a large and diverse group of students, but now all of them have become close friends and are very supportive of each other.
More than baking and cooking skills
During the workshops, in addition to learning how to cook international dishes and desserts, students learn interpersonal skills, organizational skills, team leadership and cooperation and also business administration. Students learn how to develop and manage a business by preparing baked goods, selling them, and using the raised money to invest in their baking business and sell more baked goods. Two profitable bake sales have been held at Common Hope’s Antigua site since the program started this past July. Staff, affiliated families, and visitors have enjoyed the delicious desserts that students have sold, such as pies, donuts, and pastries.
What students enjoy most
Monica, a workshop participant, says she enjoys the workshops because she can learn how to use an oven and neat kitchen supplies. Many of the students do not have ovens at home nor kitchen supplies commonly used in the US for baking. Another participant, Gabriel, said that his favorite desserts are mocha cake and fruit pie. What students seem to enjoy most of all is sampling their products and taking samples to their families. This December, the group is planning to have a special bake sale of typical Christmas desserts and dishes eaten in Guatemala.
More photos from a recent bake sale below.