Through the programs at Mescladis, migrants and youth who are unable to access government programs, are given the opportunity to learn how to work in a kitchen and learn practical skills they can use to find employment within the tourism industry. The students and the staff at Mescladis, also have the opportunity to teach tourists about how Spanish culture has blended with other cultures – both historically and more recently – all through serving and preparing delicious meals.
The United Nations has indicated that Spain lacks the capacity to deal with the ongoing Europe-wide migrant surge, with some 9,300 individuals arriving in Spain midway through 2017. There is a need for increased social services, resources, and programs that help migrants to integrate into Spanish society and enter the formal economy. With this intention, the Cuinant Oportunitats (Cooking Opportunities) Program at Mescladis emerged, which is a culinary training program for migrants and Spanish youth, most of whom have already passed through social institutions but struggle to find employment.
Planeterra assists Mescladis with links to a steady market of travellers to increase the impacts of their cooking classes offered to generate income for their programs. Cooking classes for travellers are conducted by students of the culinary school, Cuinant Oportunitats. The experience at Mescladis seeks to create a meeting point between cultures, using the kitchen and food that has been infused with the traditions and flavours of migrants’ home countries as a stepping stone for discussion.