BRICKS TO BREAD COSTA RICA PROJECTS
CECILIA MOYA BRENES – CAÑO NEGRO DE ALTAMIRA, ALAJUELA
Caño Negro de Altamira is a small community of 7 homes. The closest town is Las Parcelas, about 3 km away, where there are 70 homes along with a pulperia (a small general store), church, school, and soccer field. The region (San Carlos) is known for the Arenal Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and for its cattle ranches. Farms in this region produce leather products, milk and dairy products, and beef. Other crops grown here include yucca, pineapple, sugarcane, and oranges.
The pineapple processing facility and the local sawmill are the only sources of work in the area and most often the jobs are given to men due to the physical labor involved. The roads are in poor condition and the public bus comes only as far as Las Parcelas, making commuting virtually impossible.
Doña Cecilia and her husband, Rafael, live in a very humble house on a small piece of land in Caño Negro de Altamira. They have four daughters – Ana (18), Jazmin (23), Daniela (26), and Maicol (29). Ana and her baby, Isaac, live at home and Daniela and her son, Thiago, live next door. . Doña Cecilia has been making and selling bread for 20 years.
Everyone in the family is involved in Doña Ceci’s bakery business and she sells 70 bags of bread per week. Don Rafael distributes the bread and harvests the banana leaves for the tamales. Daniela helps pack and Ana bakes and sells their bread at the market and in their neighborhood.
She barters some bread for vegetables and the rest she sells in the town of Ciudad Quesada. She makes delicious tamales, rice cakes, cassava cakes, stuffed empanadas, rolls, cheese bonnets, garlic bread, pizza bread and banana bread. She is a true entrepreneur who has built a reputation for selling quality breads and tamales.