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 Budgets & steps taken to start & maintain the project

A total of $4,000 was raised in 2017 to start & sustain the project. Our goal was to use the donations to set up a project that would help as many people as we could, for as long as possible.

Thank you to all the donors!

  • THE BUDGET: The project was set to run on $600 per month. What is the money used for?

 

  • $42 / month to rent the house

  • $144 / month for our cook's salary *

  • $362 / month for the food ($0.62 per meal)

  • $42 / month for fire wood (used to cook the food)

  • $10 / month for extras: cleaning supplies, "octoe" (which is used to start the fires), trips to the "molino" (the machine that grinds up the corn to make dough for the tortillas).

​* The community was asked to set the salary for our cooks, and $72/month for each one was decided to be a fair wage for them to begin with. They work Monday - Friday, around 20 - 25 hours a week.

  • THE SUPPLIES - An investment of $500 was made to purchase the cooking and cleaning supplies, tables and chairs, bowls and cups, serving utensils, water filtration system, and printing costs of the visual and bilingual instruction manuals. The cooks took ownership of creating their own kitchen staying within an assigned budget.

  • THE MENU - Much time and effort was taken to create a menu rich in nutrients while spending great attention to stay within the traditional norms of their original palette and customs.

  • A LOCATION - The location was selected by our local partners, as they searched and negotiated for the most simple and affordable place to rent, as we have place to move to a permanent location this summer. Their goal was/is to be able to provide space for the project participants, to be able to relax, shower, and eat. We will not be renting for long, as we have plans to move to a new location, a home to call our own.

  • COLLABORATION - The goal was for the people of Chajul to have ownership over this project... it is "for" and weekly "run by" them! Daily meetings were held with: our cooks, the local community visionaries (that were placed in leadership roles), the future participants (during our individual home visits), and one large group meeting with all involved (to discuss and consult them with the details of the project). Freedom was given to both those running and attending the program, to make decisions of when and how the project was to be run. This open communication is/was important and valued as high priority, in order for the project to sustain itself so it could be independently on their own terms, within their own personal and cultural boundaries.​

  • ORGANIZATION - Bilingual (Spanish and Ixil) instruction manuals, menus and recipes, shopping lists, a receipt system, bank accounts, and routines were designed. Meetings, practice shopping days and meal prep/cooking moments were held to prepare staff to run the project independently; for many procedures were slight adjustments, new to their indigenous ways-of-life and routines.

  • COMMUNICATION - We stay in weekly contact with both the project leaders and our head cook via free texting, and visit many times a year to check in. Pictures, updates, and receipts are texted weekly to keep us updated on the Project. We communicate together in Spanish, as both the leaders and the head cook are fluidly speak conversational Spanish.

Buying the cooking supplies