by Shannon Smothers
"Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together." - Guy Fieri
I have recently returned from my first Peru trip since the pandemic started. It had been 15 long months since my last visit. With the restrictions and mask mandate in Peru one of the things I missed was seeing the scholarship students smiling faces. Their government requires that everyone wear a mask when inside a business, outdoors, and basically everywhere. My favorite moments of this trip all revolved around food because that is when I could see their faces.
So we ate. and baked. and ate.
First we had several breakfasts with small groups of students. They came to the Make a Miracle study center where we sat in the open-air, third floor and enjoyed empanadas, tamales, bread, jelly and juice. Conversation during these meals was the most enjoyable for me because you can't eat with a mask on. We had lunches with other groups of students, and even a baking workshop. I assisted my sponsored student Claudia teach the group how to make a delicious chocolate cake with fudge frosting (pictures above).
I am Italian and family gatherings traditionally revolve around food. Food is love. I am glad my Peruvian family agrees!
Shannon is a Make a Miracle board member who has been to Peru 8 times. She sponsors 5 students: 2 psychology majors, a chef, a baker and a hospitality major. And 3 Peruvian cats.