USA 2009 | 75 min. | Color
DVD NTSC | English & Spanish w/ English Subtitles | Not Rated
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.
CAFE 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 observation, he witnesses a transformation not only of the boys, but of a city that has been defined by its circumstances and not by its beauty.