Global-Cultural Awareness Through Cooking and Volunteerism
San Francisco Apanta is a small rural town located in the mountains of El Salvador. It is a community that suffered tremendously from the country's 12-year-long Civil War, with young men forced to join the Army in order to protect their families and community from random acts of violence, and many other young people fleeing the country to immigrate to the United States. The trend of immigration has continued in the present day, with people as young as 14 leaving in search of a better life.
This project, an initiative of a local youth group, was designed to promote positive opportunities for young people in San Francisco Apanta, and discourage gang participation. The project revolves around a series of workshops that teach global education via cooking classes, where participants will learn about a wide range of countries and study each country's traditions and cultures. The youth group will also be establishing itself as a local leader in community service, starting with the painting of a world map mural in the community.
The youth have completed both the international cooking classes and world map mural. During the 12 week cooking class, the youth learned various cultural dishes and were able to advance their leadership, creativity, and team work skills. In the beginning of each class, the students were given fact sheets about each country (history, politics, and culture) and were provided time to discuss, allowing them to think critically and analytically about global issues, including issues within their own country. Youth were also able to share their new knowledge and cooking skills with their family and community at the World Appreciation Day event, where they prepared meals and made informative posters for each of the countries they studied.