The Ministry of Tourism and the World Food Programme (WFP) conducted the graduation ceremony for 77 young individuals from Gastrolab-Surf City, hailing from La Libertad and Santa Ana.
The objective of the institutions involved is to train 500 young individuals by the end of the year.
Minister of Tourism, Morena Valdez, stated that 80% of the young graduates from Gastrolab have reported that this experience has not only improved their professional lives but also their personal lives. She emphasized that the demand for restaurant workers is approximately 5,000 individuals.
“While we love pupusas, our country’s gastronomy is much more than that, and Gastrolab aims to elevate Salvadoran cuisine to international standards,” she expressed.
The significance of gastronomy for tourism is paramount, to the extent that it was one of the top three reasons for international travel in 2022, added the official.
On the other hand, Deputy Representative of the WFP, Jaakko Valli, underscored the institution’s commitment to Salvadoran youth. “Just this year, we have already supported over 150 young individuals, with 77 present here today. By the end of the year, we expect to have over 400 graduates from this gastronomy program,” he stated.
The program consists of 200 hours (four months) of theoretical and practical training, certified by Francisco Gavidia University. Additionally, the participants receive a monthly financial bonus, as indicated by the authorities.
The graduation ceremony marked a significant milestone for these 77 young graduates from Gastrolab-Surf City. With their newfound skills and knowledge in gastronomy, they are equipped to contribute to the culinary industry, both locally and internationally. The collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism and the World Food Programme demonstrates a shared dedication to empowering Salvadoran youth and elevating the country’s culinary reputation on a global scale.
As the demand for skilled restaurant workers continues to rise, programs like Gastrolab play a crucial role in bridging the gap and providing opportunities for young individuals to thrive in the hospitality sector. It is encouraging to witness the positive impact this initiative has had on the lives of these graduates, not only in terms of employment prospects but also in personal growth.
By emphasizing the diversity and richness of Salvadoran cuisine, Gastrolab aims to showcase the country’s culinary heritage to the world. The dedication of the Ministry of Tourism and the support of the WFP are instrumental in realizing this vision and fostering a thriving gastronomic culture in El Salvador.
As the program continues to expand, with the goal of training 500 young individuals by the end of the year, it is expected that the graduates will contribute to the growth and development of the local culinary scene, attracting tourists who seek unique dining experiences.
The success of Gastrolab-Surf City serves as an inspiration for other educational initiatives that empower youth and foster their potential in various industries. Through collaboration and investment in vocational training, El Salvador can continue to nurture talented individuals, ensuring a brighter future for its young population.
The graduation ceremony is not only a celebration of the accomplishments of these 77 graduates but also a testament to the transformative power of education and the dedication of all the stakeholders involved in the Gastrolab-Surf City program.