Gastronomy as a tool for change: "Community Schools" initiative trains 20 people from Calle Larga

20 •  November •  2021

This initiative, developed by the Social Gastronomy Foundation together with the Fundación Luksic, was launched in September and seeks to support 20 entrepreneurs and/or people who want to develop in the gastronomic sector in the Province of Los Andes.

In the commune of Calle Larga, in the Región Valparaíso, the “Food for All” program is being carried out, developed by the Social Gastronomy Foundation together with the Fundación Luksic, with the support of Colab UC, 5ta Cordillera restaurant, Pedro Aguirre Cerda Cultural Center and the municipality, which seeks to design systems that favor food security through collaborative innovation.

The initiative, which began in September of this year, benefits 20 people in the region whose businesses are related to the gastronomic sector. Of the total, 17 are women and 3 are men, and belong to the municipalities of Calle Larga, San Felipe, Los Andes and San Esteban.

“We are very pleased with the implementation of this program, which has been running for almost two months now, where students share their experiences and progress with us every week. We are convinced that the public-private partnership is key to promote the development of the territories, in this case, Calle Larga. We hope that this is the first joint work to continue collaborating in the future with the community of Calle Larga,” said Cristián Schalper, director of the Entrepreneurship area of the Fundación Luksic.

For his part, the director of Fundación Gastronomía Social Comida para Todos, Rafael Rincón, said that “this event is an opportunity for all of us who are part of it. Because together, we can transform realities and create opportunities. We firmly believe in gastronomy as a tool for social change. Thanks to the collaborative work with the Fundación Luksic and the 5ª Cordillera restaurant, we are providing important training free of charge. We are grateful for all that has been done and is yet to be done”.

The program consists of three main pillars: gastronomy through cooking training workshops; permaculture with community training in cross-cutting environmental knowledge through community gardens; and entrepreneurship and innovation with a focus on micro-entrepreneurship.

Classes and land

Every Tuesday, the entrepreneurs meet with their teachers at the Pedro Aguirre Cerda Cultural Center to participate in the different classes, which are divided into 28 workshops, including the final evaluation.

Camila Moreno, director and educational coordinator of Fundación Gastronomía Social; Alejandra Vidales, educational advisor of the same entity and permaculture teacher; Joaquín Salgado, in charge of entrepreneurship of the foundation; and Xavier Gil, territorial coordinator, are responsible for carrying out each module for participants to acquire the necessary knowledge to enhance or start their businesses, linked to the gastronomic area.

“It has been a pleasant experience. Through this space we have given new opportunities to these people and we are providing the necessary tools for their future. These are the types of projects that have to be consolidated and continued so that people can grow in their enterprises,” says Xavier Gil, culinary professor of the program and owner of the Quinta Cordillera restaurant.

The students have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn about the three main pillars of the initiative. Leonor Villaroel, one of the 20 members of the program, says that her experience has been very good. “I have gained knowledge, in all the classes I have learned something new and they are all different: they are field, cooking, theoretical. In addition, the teachers give 100% of their time to teach us so that we can acquire new knowledge,” explains Leonor.

The program has a total duration of three months and is scheduled to end in December of this year.