Every Tuesday at 4 pm, Keyla Vasquez logs into zoom from her phone to learn a new skill. Next to her, she has her harshest food critic —her one-year-old son, Felipe.
A devoted mother and a loving daughter, Keyla is one of 49 promising students enrolled in Kura’s new, Online Community Baking Program.
Like many others, she aspires to open her own business in her hometown in Uvita, Puntarenas.
“I love baking bread”, says Keyla. “It’s always been a stress release. One day, I dream of having my own family-owned bakery.”
Before Kura’s program, Keyla had never been in a professional baking environment. Now four classes later, she has learned about the different types and applications of yeast.
Burger buns, Chocolate Orange Braid, and Sandwich bread. These are three of the many tasty examples taught by Kura’s Baker, Jose Antonio, and Kura’s Operations Manager, Yovanka Guerra González.
“I have always thought that the only way to have a better life is through education,” says Yovanka.
“When I worked in Arenas Del Mar (Kura’s sister property, also part of the Cayuga Collection), we created a Culinary School. At that time, most of the staff who worked in the kitchen never had any training. They were very young people who lived in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. With our initiative, we helped them develop their skills and elevate their knowledge in the kitchen.”
“In Uvita (where Kura is located), we wanted to translate the same concept, but this time for the community,” says Yovanka.
Uvita is a small town on the South Pacific Coast where no culinary schools exist. But Jose and Yovanka wanted to change that: “So why don’t we create it? Our belief is that education is the best way to impact people’s lives, so we decided to create this program at Kurá for the Uvita Community.”
The Kura Online Community Baking Program is part of Kura’s continuous effort to support the community amidst COVID-19. Its purpose is to teach baking fundamentals to the next generation of Uvita bakers.