The Bakery in El Recreo, 2017 Update

Establishing small businesses in El Recreo not only supports the families that run them, but sometimes allows that family to hire others in the community as well. As Kamy Sullivan, a parishioner who has traveled to El Recreo numerous times reported, “These are proud people who want to work. Sometimes they just need a bit of a jump start. They don’t beg, they don’t pull at us when we visit asking for money. They are humble people who simply want to work for their own living. They want to participate in everything we give them. For example, we gave them money, but they gathered together and built the museum, church, and medical clinic. They provided the labor to take ownership of any projects we fund.”

One of the projects we have helped facilitate is the creation of a family-run bakery in El Recreo. Through a small private donation from St. Boniface Hector was able to start a bakery. The business was a godsend for Hector as he was living on his mother’s property and needed income to pay the rent. Since the bakery was started, he and his family have built a small chicken coop using scraps found in the garbage or jungle. They now have chickens that lay eggs which are used as ingredients to make their bakery goods. The oven and bakery are in a building constructed of sticks and corrugated tin.

Using a wood-fired brick oven, Hector makes different kinds of cookies, sweet bread, and pastries. He sells his baked goods at the street market in the city of Berlin. A rough, 30 minute ride from his home in El Recreo. The St. Boniface delegation also buys cookies from Hector twice a year, which are served at the celebratory festivals where 600-700 people in El Recreo are fed. For these events Hector and his family make approximately 1400 cookies. Hector’s is the only business in El Recreo that sells food to the villagers.

To learn more about our efforts in El Recreo visit

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