Since 2015, Artists for Soup has developed school gardens in Nicaragua. We train students, teachers, and family members in bio-intensive cultivation to create more nutritious school lunches. In Nicaragua, school lunches are usually composed of five foods donated by the government: beans, rice, cereals, oil and corn. Our biointensive gardens provide additional vegetables and fruits to improve school lunch menus.
We maintain large school gardens in four different regions: Leon, Corozo, Ocalca and Matagalpa. At the Ruben Dario School for children with disabilities, interns from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua–León assist teachers in planting and maintaining 17 garden beds. This large garden improves the diets of 82 young students who experience autism, cerebral palsy, blindness and other conditions.
Since Artists for Soup started developing gardens, we have focused on clean energy and adapting to climate change. In line with this focus, we have begun planting nutritional tree nurseries at schools. In addition, we provide solar ovens or high-efficiency stoves to encourage schools to move away from hazardous wood-fire open air cooking. High-efficiency stoves and solar ovens decrease deforestation and protect the environment for future generations. These stoves can also reduce cooking time for women responsible for this work.