One of the first Leaders from the Kitchen we met with was Deborah from Bluefields, Nicaragua. Deborah was a victim of domestic violence until one day she decided that enough was enough. She didn’t want her kids to be exposed to such behavior, nor have them grow to think that such behavior was ok. So she left her husband, and started a new life as a single parent raising her three children. To generate income, she began to sell enchiladas, tamales, and frito — a local everyday plate consisting of chilies, cabbage, fried chicken, and fried plantains atop a tortilla.
When we stopped in at Deborah’s house to sample her cuisine, the soothing melodies of a mexican ballad echoed from a radio player, welcoming us. Just outside her back door, plantains sizzled within a cauldron of boiling oil, all of which sat atop a wood-burning fire. The sun beamed through cracks of the wooden planks that constituted her kitchen walls. With grace Deborah floated between the stove and the wood burning fire, preparing a feast.
Deborah’s specialties also include Nicaraguan-style beef Enchiladas, a typical street food served with a slaw of shredded cabbage.
Debora wishes to serve as an example for her children, showing them that women can run a successful business. In her spare time, she provides volunteer support for other women who are trying to emerge from abusive situations.
Sales generated from the Leaders from the Kitchen cookbook will be reinvested in organizations working in Nicaragua to help women like Deborah, survivors of domestic and gender violence.