Las Cuchillas School Kitchen
Project Launch: 12-14-17
The school lunch program in Nicaraguan schools has been a challenge for the communities of Ometepe Island. Parents are required to bring and prepare the entire school's lunch at least once a month; however, many mothers do not have the time or resources to provide the meal. In the case of the community of Las Cuchillas, the local school is located a significant distance up Maderas, a dormant local volcano, and it is a difficult hike given the muddy, rocky terrain and thick trees. Many families live far from the school and have to trek up the volcano multiple times carrying heavy buckets of food to supply the school lunch. They sometimes spill the buckets of food during the hike and, when this occurs, the kids are left without food for the day. At other times, local mothers do not have time to prepare the meals and, consequently, students will not eat. For many local children, the school meal is the only quality meal they receive in a typical day. When the kids are hungry, they are not focused and lack motivation to perform well during classes.
This project proposes the construction of a school kitchen that will include an eco-stove, a sink, a table, cooking utensils, and a place to store food. This will allow the mothers to prepare school meals on campus with ready access to the school garden which can provide supplementary produce to accompany and supplement the prepared lunches. In addition, an eco-stove will reduce firewood consumption, preparation time, and respiratory complications caused by smoke inhalation.
Project Update: 3-29-18
Construction is underway! At the beginning of March, the building materials were hauled up the volcano and then carried by hand to the school by excited community members. Every weekend, the carpenter and his assistant trek five kilometers up to the community of Las Cuchillas to work on the kitchen. The walls are currently being put up and soon the floor and roof will be installed.