A little bit of faith coupled with action can go a long way.
This is Michael.
After riding his bicycle from Costa Rica to Guatemala over the course of three months, he got off his bike and opened up his own restaurant.
While previously living in Seattle working in the food industry, Michael decided to go on a cycling tour before getting too caught up in the Seattle food scene. He planned on using the skills he learned as a cook to generate income on the road.
Along the way, he dreamt about what his restaurant would be like if he decided to open his own place.
When he got to this little village on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, he kept walking by a little white shack that he realized would be a perfect space to create what he calls a “food project.” After contacting the landlord, he had a set of keys and was serving food the very next night.
I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Michael on Lake Atitlan, and even more fortunate to get the chance to enjoy some of his tasty food.
Check out his story below.
“You’re going to attract the help you need when you need it… Because you don’t know when and where any why you’re going to need it when you start.”
What really inspired me most about Michael’s story was the community that formed around his project.
Michael has a true passion for sustainable vegan(ish) food, which can certainly be tasted in every bite, and this was definitely one of the draws of his restaurant. But it was more than just good food that attracted people to his project.
The space quickly transformed into a hangout spot for artists to perform, and lots of people began volunteering in the kitchen and helping to build and decorate the space around the restaurant.
I believe a lot of this had to do with the pure intentions of the project, which Michael says was, “to feed people.”
The restaurant has a daily changing menu, using whatever is locally available at the time, and it is priced on a donation-based sliding scale, where customers can choose what they want to pay, as an attempt to make it affordable for everyone.
The name of the restaurant is “Amor y Paz” which translates to Love and Peace, exactly what I felt while in the midst of this community.
“If you’re really passionate about a thing, and you really believe in it . . . you’re gonna figure it out.”
Thank you, Michael.