Manq’a is an educational initiative that empowers at-risk youth through food education in culinary schools and cafeterias.

Manq’a Cafeterías y Escuelas de Cocina establishes culinary schools and cafeterias in areas of Bolivia and Colombia suffering from malnutrition and high rates of poverty. The schools train and educate students in food service operations such as managing cafeterias and catering services as well as in actual food production. Since launching two years ago, Manq’a has opened eleven schools and trained more than 1,000 young people.

Manq’a seeks to empower young people and generate quality human capital.

Michelangelo Cestari – CEO, Group Gustu

Manq’a teaches the basic principles of nutrition and cooking to at-risk youngsters, empowering them with training and work experience. The program not only benefits the students, but also the communities in which it operates. By offering food services and products to locals, the schools and cafeterias improve health conditions and access to quality food. Manq’a also benefits local producers and farmers by providing a source of respectful and profitable commercial relations.

Why you should care

Approximately two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and 13% of Latin American youth are unemployed. By providing access to technical training, Manq’a offers young students in impoverished areas the opportunity to develop skills which are needed in a growing industry. At the same time, its cafeterias encourage healthy eating and make use of nutritious, local ingredients, helping to improve the health and economy of local communities.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Zero Hunger

Manq'a schools teach the basics of essential nutrition and their cafeterias offer affordable food to local communities.

SDG4 Quality education

Quality Education

Manq'a aims to train 3,000 youth this year in communities that have limited access to technical skills training.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

By providing the tools for building food start-ups as well as supporting local farmers, Manq'a helps to grow local economies.

Responsible Consumption and Production

In their cafeterias, Manq'a uses only organic and local products, helping to reduce both the freshwater pollution associated with pesticides and the CO2 emissions from long-distance transportation.