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, a gathering place for community events, and encourage camaraderie by welcoming all to participate in the build.

Our Founder

Bricks to Bread

Nancy Alvarado

Board of Directors

United States Board Members

Nancy Fitzimons Alvarado, President
Founder, Fitz Al Consulting, Inc.

Ana Grace Alvarado, Vice President

Josie Kietzmann, Secretary
Student, University of St. Thomas

Sara Kietzmann, Treasurer
Finance Director, Bakken Museum

Joyce Lizzi
Sr. Director, Consumer & Sensory Research
The National Food Lab

Lesley Blanco
Project Manager, Coegi

Costa Rica Board Members

Laura Patricia Perez Mena, In-Country Coordinator
Owner of Forest Bakery and 2012 oven recipient

Josefina Rojas Mena, In-Country Coordinator
Small business owner and entrepreneur

Elena María Valenciano Marín
Program Manager, National Institute for Women, Costa Rica

Cristina Rufina Mena Medina
2012 oven recipient


Bricks to Bread strives to provide a sustainable source of income for a deserving family in need through donations, collaboration, and volunteerism; by educating and assisting them in the construction, maintenance and expansion of an outdoor brick oven used to make and sell fresh baked goods to their community.


Creating a sustainable source of income for families and access to fresh baked goods in rural communities.


Changing lives with a brick and a loaf.

Bricks To Bread 501(c)(3) Organization
How it Began

Our History

In 2012 fate caused two friends to create the Costa Rica Oven Project (C.R.O.P 2012).  One of Nancy Alvarado’s friend was taking an outdoor brick oven building class in Grand Marais, Minnesota and thinking about where he was going to build his first oven. Meanwhile, Nancy was thousands of miles south visiting family in Costa Rica. While there, a family expressed interest in selling fresh baked goods to their impoverished community as a way to start their own business and overcome poverty.

Nancy realized that by taking the same class on outdoor brick oven building, along with her experience as a Peace Corp Volunteer serving rural areas in economic development and life-long professional experience in organizational leadership, she could take her passion for social change and change lives. She enlisted friends and family to raise over $5,600, planned a mission trip, and traveled to Costa Rica with five other families to build the organization’s first outdoor brick bread oven. Today, the Pérez Family is running a successful bakery in San Marcos de Cutris.

Nancy noticed the potential to change lives by building brick ovens in impoverished communities was huge. With the help of family and friends, Bricks to Bread International was established. As an official 501c(3) charitable organization Bricks to Bread is expanding into other communities, building more ovens, and changing more lives.



¡Muchas Gracias a Nuestros Patrocinadores!

(Many Thanks to Our Sponsors!)

Change lives by providing a sustainable source of income for families in need.

Donate Today!