WCK reactivates #ChefsForThePeople in Tijuana
World Central Kitchen first arrived in Tijuana in November 2018 as refugees fleeing violence, poverty, and instability found themselves stuck in Mexico amid growing wait times for asylum interviews. After WCK closed our kitchen at the end of February, our Relief Team continued to closely monitor the situation on the border and, in light of recent policies that are expected to see a surge in the number of families needing shelter, we have reactivated our #ChefsForThePeople kitchen.
With wait times for asylum interviews now as high as a year or more, the shelter system in Mexico along the border is feeling additional pressure to provide a safe place for families to wait. And with changing border policies, many are worried about an influx in the number of people that will now be forced to wait in Mexico without a place to live and no means to provide for their families.
Out of our #ChefsForThePeople kitchen in Tijuana, we are currently cooking hot meals for 10 shelter locations while also providing bagged lunches for children attending the Yes We Can School. The Yes We Can School operates out of a mobile classroom in a converted bus to ensure refugee children can continue to receive an education while they’re living in shelters. We are proud to partner with them to provide the kids a healthy lunch each day.
Under the direction of Chef Relief Team members Josh, Tim, and Matt, #ChefsForThePeople is being run by many WCK familiar faces. In the kitchen we have Chef Elsa, Chef Ric, and Chef Greg cooking up some favorites like Pineapple Marinated Chicken Teriyaki and Chilaquiles Rojos. Combined, they have been with WCK in places like Hawaii, California, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Mozambique, and it’s an honor to have them with us now in Tijuana.
Locally, our logistical operations are in the hands of Mackenzie and Teresa who have both been working with us in Tijuana for the past several months. Together, they coordinate everything from ordering product, to daily distribution to volunteer management. They’re a true dream team who we are lucky to have on our team.
We have also had the pleasure of working with some amazing volunteers thus far. Today, we got help from Diestro Soccer Down, a local soccer program for youths with Down Syndrome. Javier and Nikki stepped up to do their part in the infamous WCK sandwich line!