Wood Oven Baking For Alternative Income
Caserio La Pena is a small hamlet tucked away in the mountains of northwest El Salvador. It is a rural and isolated community about 17 km from the nearest town. The people of La Pena, as in most Salvadoran communities, follow strongly defined, traditional gender roles. The men work the fields and the women tend to the home. That being said, a high percentage of the families in the community have single, female heads-of-household due to a high rate of male emigration to the United States. As a result, women in La Pena are forced to find alternative means to sustain their families and oftentimes wind up sending their male children to work the fields at a young age.
This project is designed to provide families in La Pena, especially families with single mothers, with an alternative means of income while taking advantage of the artisan, adobe brick wood ovens that are commonplace in many households. For the most part, community members only know how to make Salvadoran quesadilla, which is so common that selling it for a profit can be challenging. This project will empower its participants with step-by-step recipes for making baked goods other than quesadillas that they can sell in order to supplement their incomes. It will also include workshops on nutrition and business practices. Lastly, there will be a focus on gender in the workshops, educating women on the effects of "machismo" culture in El Salvador.