DVD Release: 2009
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and is the poorest country in the region where 80% of the country’s population survives on
less than $1 per day. Managua is the capital, but Granada is its oldest city. Despite its coastal beauty and colonial architecture, the picturesque
streets of Granada are littered with kids (“chavalos”) who have succumbed to the country’s economic circumstance. Many are uneducated and addicted to drugs.
The drug of choice due to its affordability and accessibility: glue-sniffing. With no means of receiving an education, learning basic job skills or
finding employment, these children are left with no options and no hope.
Café Chavalos: Overcoming The Streets follows Orlando, Oscar, Juan Carlos and Moises as they attempt to rehabilitate their lives through a program called Cafe Chavalos - a culinary school, restaurant and rehab center. In their young lives, they have endured drug use, gang violence, abuse and family suicides, but miraculously found hope through this program. They learn to cook, wait tables and run a business. However, during the course of their own journey, the cafe runs into financial problems (funded by a non-profit group), lose their head Chef and is forced to close. How does that affect the boys? Will the cafe re-open? Can they persevere?
Nicaraguan filmmaker, Alberto Chamorro, documents the poverty and the lives of these chavalos with compassion, respect and objectivity. Through his observations, he witnesses a transformation not only of the boys, but of a city that has been defined more by its circumstances than by its beauty.