CFCA serves approximately 84,000 sponsored children and elderly in Guatemala. Here is a recipe from Isabel, mother of a sponsored child in Guatemala, who makes and sells coconut bread to help her family’s income. This recipe makes approximately 20 pieces of bread. Get the full recipe
By Judy-Anne Goldman, CFCA multimedia manager/producer
Juana, the mother of two CFCA sponsored children, cleans scallions, also known as spring onions, for 8 hours a day, three days a week in a small town in Guatemala.
Does she get tired of onions after all that time? “No!” Juana said. Her appreciation only grows. “Our onions are good. People in other towns and countries come to buy them. You should try them grilled,” she suggested. “It will make your mouth water!”
From left: Lucia, Zoila, Ramos and Juana start their work day at 8 a.m. and finish at 5 p.m., peeling spring onions that are a delicious part of local meals. Lucia and Juana are mothers of CFCA sponsored children, Zoila is sponsored through CFCA, and Ramos is a former sponsored child. Read more
According to the Blog Action Day website, this is “an opportunity to open the conversation about how food impacts all of us ñ individually and globally.”
We’ll start with the global overview on food and then focus on something you can do individually to connect with your sponsored friend through eating (always a fun activity!).
Globally ñ putting food on the table
To improve long-term food security, CFCA has a food assistance fund to support the nutritional and food security needs for families in our sponsorship program.
See this video from our archives about how sponsorship benefits and CFCA food grants can help families put food on the table for years, even after sponsorship has ended.
A powerful way to connect with people from different cultures is to prepare and taste food from their own countries.
We’ve collected a wealth of recipes from the countries in which CFCA works. Perhaps for Blog Action Day, you could try one or two of these!
How does this topic affect you and your family? We welcome your comments!
Olla de carne y verduras, or a pot of meat and vegetables, fresh and steaming from Costa Rica!
CFCA serves more than 7,000 sponsored children and elderly in Costa Rica. Our staff members there sent us this recipe for olla de carne y verduras, roughly translated: a pot of meat and vegetables.
This recipe is for four to five people. See the recipe
Chapattis with egg curry and onions … mmm!
CFCA serves approximately 34,000 sponsored children and elderly in India. Sreekanth Gundoji, our communications liaison in Hyderabad, India, sends us this gorgeous recipe for chapattis and egg curry!
Chapattis are the perfect accompaniment to most Indian dishes. They can be eaten with meat and vegetarian curries, fruits, jam, yogurt, butter, chutneys, pickles, etc.
This recipe is for two to three people. See the recipe and pictures
If you haven’t yet been on a mission awareness trip with CFCA, you can still connect with your sponsored friend in other ways. For the next few weeks, we’ll feature five ways you can “visit” your friend.
Liberty Sementelli, left, helps women in Guatemala with their chocolate business. Read her amazing story of how she raised $1,500 for a chocolate grinding machine.
The first is:
1) Cook a meal native to your friend’s ethnic cuisine.
You can learn a lot about a culture from its cuisine. For instance, why do countries with hot climates have hot food? Do the main dishes contain meat, or can they be made with vegetables (usually much more economical)?
Here are just a few suggestions:
- Curries from India
- Hot chocolate from Guatemala
- Ugali (a type of African cornbread) from Kenya and Tanzania
You can find many of these ethnic recipes online.
These make great family dinners and conversation starters. For instance, what is similar and what is different from your usual dining fare?
After sampling food from another country, consider writing about your meal in your next letter. You could also ask what your friend’s favorite food is, and why.
Have you ìvisitedî your friend through food? If so, what dishes have you prepared or sampled?
Chocolate has been part of Latin American culture for 2,000 years. Today, most Latin American cultures serve hot chocolate with tamales during the Christmas season.
In Guatemala, Claudia Mariela and her family live in the community of El Chocolate, so of course, chocolate is part of their lives.
Claudia is the mother of six children, three of whom are sponsored in CFCA’s Hope for a Family program.
Watch this video of Claudia Mariela making Guatemalan hot chocolate, then try making your own using this easy recipe.
Hot chocolate (makes about 2 quarts)
- 2 7-oz. bars of drinking chocolate (brands such as Ibarra and Abuelita can be found at Hispanic markets)
- 2 quarts of water
- Cinnamon sticks (optional)
- Milk and sugar (optional)
Bring the water to a full, rolling boil.
While the water is coming to a boil, chop up the chocolate or grind it in a blender or food processor. This will help the chocolate dissolve faster. You can also just add the chocolate as is from the box.
Add the chocolate to the boiling water. Stir constantly until the chocolate is dissolved.
Add milk, cinnamon sticks and sugar according to your taste. This chocolate is so rich that you don’t have to add milk.
Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until well blended, about 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve piping hot with tamales. Make your own Christmas tamales.
Want to know the story behind the CFCA mothers group who run a chocolate-making business? Click here to read more.
Jose Rodriguez, CFCA’s project director for South America, talks about his recent visit to Bolivia where he witnessed the work being done by two CFCA scholarship students, Juan and Jhaneth. The students are helping to give back to their own communities by working with families to build greenhouses and teaching local mothers to read.
By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher
Upon my return from a mission awareness trip to El Salvador, my children were greatly interested in the details of the trip. I told them about our day spent on a volcano, showed them a jar of sand from the beach and pictures of all the beautiful people I met. And, I kept wistfully talking about pupusas, calling them ìSalvadoran comfort food.î
We decided to make pupusas, and we had the most fun! They are so simple to make and so wonderful to eat. The best part, however, was how making dinner together easily fell into a lesson about solidarity. For instance: at first, our dough was too dry. As I went to the sink for more water, I started talking about how hard it often is for the women to get water and how easy it is for us. The kids asked questions about where the water comes from for the Salvadorans and began to understand how a simple faucet is a luxury.
As we pulled the cheese from the refrigerator, my daughter asked me how they keep things cold with no electricity. So, we talked about how they have to go to market every day to buy food since people in developing countries generally donít have a refrigerator. (My kids hate going to the grocery store, so the idea of going to market every day really hit home!)
Below is the recipe for pupusas (they are super easy for kids to make), but we encourage you to do a little research to find kid-friendly recipes from the country where your sponsored friend lives. As you cook with your children or grandchildren, talk with them about what it must be like for their friend to cook. How is it the same? How is it different? Tell them what an indescribable luxury meat is in most countries, but how easily we have access to it here. Have them picture walking up to a mile to fetch water for cooking (this is often the job of children in a family).
(Please supervise children closely during the cooking.)
2 c. Masa harina (this is a corn flour that can be found in most grocery stores)
1 c. Water
Filling can be grated cheese, refried beans, veggies, whatever!
1. In a bowl mix the Masa harina and water. Knead it well. If you need to, add a teaspoon of water at a time to get a consistency similar to play dough. Set the dough aside to rest for 10 minutes.
2. Roll a ball of dough a little smaller than the size of a baseball and, with your thumb, press a hole in the middle. Pinch the sides a bit to make the hole bigger. Put some of the filling in the hole and pinch it shut. Now comes the fun part. Slap the dough from hand to hand, pressing it out flat. But make sure none of the filling leaks out. They should end up about º – Ω inch thick.
3. Heat an ungreased skillet over medium heat. Cook each pupusa for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown on each side. Serve with salsa.
Sponsor Margaret Looper was recruited to help distribute bags of food to CFCA families one day during her mission awareness trip to Bolivia. She was surprised by how important a simple bag of groceries is to families in need.
A CFCA mission awareness trip is an uplifting experience that will deepen your connection with your sponsored friend and open your eyes to the potential of sponsored members and their families. Spaces are still available on some 2009 trips. Check our trip calendar >