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Bricks to Bread

Changing Lives with a Brick and a Loaf

Bricks to Bread International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps build brick ovens for Costa Rican families seeking a sustainable source of income. Brick ovens not only help provide a family with an income, but they also bring communities together. The ovens often become a focal point in the town, become a gathering place for community events, and encourage comradery by welcoming all to participate in the build.

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One of the co-founders, Nancy Alvarado, served as a Peace Corps in volunteer in Costa Rica from 1989 to 1992. While there she developed many relationships. She also met and married her husband, a Costa Rican native. Therefore, Bricks to Bread currently has strong ties to Costa Rica.

With the help of contacts at Costa Rican service organizations Bricks to Bread identifies a local family, who not only has the interest and desire to run their own business, but also has the drive to be successful. Community ovens often go unattended after the novelty has worn off and fall into disrepair. Helping a family build and begin their business ensures the oven will be used for the purpose intended; providing a family with a sustainable income and ensuring the whole community will continue to benefit from it.

Our brick ovens are built for a family in need that shows an aptitude to be able to manage, maintain, and use it properly. Rural Costa Rican communities rarely have access to fresh baked goods. Breads from a brick oven are healthier (and tastier!) than aged, over-processed bread. These ovens not only provide needed resources; they also give families the opportunity to bake and sell their goods as a means to support their families.


  • Posted by Amy Iori
  • On October 30, 2023

A Warm Welcome from Alexandria Community

  • Posted by Amy Iori
  • On October 18, 2023


  • Posted by Amy Iori
  • On September 4, 2023


  • Posted by Amy Iori
  • On July 31, 2023

Donation Received From Alexandria Soccer Camp

  • Posted by Ana Grace Alvarado
  • On July 30, 2023


  • Posted by Amy Iori
  • On July 19, 2023

Bricks to Bread’s Origin Story

“Starting a non-profit in Costa Rica turned her midlife crisis into a midlife lovefest: An interview with Nancy Alvarado”

Bricks to Bread founder Nancy Alvarado sat down with Bree Schumacher, “Seize Your Midlife” podcaster, and now you can listen to Nancy tell her story! Enjoy!

Link to podcast