News 11’s Adonis Albright speaks with the people behind the project to learn more
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – Sam Guerrero is no stranger to advocating for Yuma’s youth.
An educator by trade, he has always had an affinity for teaching. Now, he’s looking to cultivate that passion by opening up the Alice and John Baca Community Kitchen.
The community kitchen will teach culinary skills and the restaurant industry’s ropes to the youth by experienced industry leaders and community members, all to make a difference.
Cafecito, a local business in downtown Yuma, agreed to be the site partners and opened up a new location right across the street. The owners, Ashley Simms and Travis Krizay were ecstatic when they heard the news.
“The idea that the food that’s being served could be cooked by the kids who are learning from different local chefs and staff, and really just bringing the community together, it’s like who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?” said Krizay.
Alice Baca, the inspiration for this project, was a cafeteria worker who has since retired. Guerrero said she served the elementary school kids of Yuma’s district one for years and never stopped giving back.
“Even after she retired, her kitchen became a community hub. The people that she cared about, her friends, her family, anyone was welcome, and she was always cooking for them,”, said Guerrero.
When the community kitchen is eventually up and running, it will serve various purposes.
According to the proposal, local chefs and restaurateurs will teach kids of varying ages the industry’s ropes and culinary skills.
The kitchen will also be used for other philanthropic purposes and can be rented out for different events.
The plan is to hold these classes on the first Friday of every month through a residency program. The classes will be free, but students will need to apply beforehand.
There is still a lot of work to be done on the community kitchen, and the organizations behind it are always looking for extra help.
If you are interested in making a donation or learning more about the organizations that made this project possible, click here. You can also directly get in contact with the Bordertown Arts Project at [email protected]