Enjoy a good meal and help women escape domestic violence at Mujeres con Exito

Mar 14, 2022 | 0 comments

It’s time to eat at the Mujeres de Excito Cafe. (Photo John Keeble)

By John Keeble

Training options for women escaping domestic violence have taken a step forward with a new range of food options being offered by Mujeres con Exito, the Cuenca organisation offering support and sheltering to women and children in danger.

The new range – pretzels and loaded baked potatoes – is part of a wider effort to give women the chance of economic independence and the confidence that comes with getting a job and being able to help support themselves and their children.

Kip Gienau explains the project at the launch. (John Keeble)

While some of the women are being taught to cook and serve the meals, others are being given the training and experience in riding a new electric scooter donated for the service to go mobile with orders being taken by phone and the food delivered to customers’ doors.

Sample loaded pototoes being served. (John Keeble)

The selection of eight loaded potatoes was designed by regular North American visitors Kip Gienau and his wife Deb, who have been working for five years with Asociacion Mujeres con Exito, part of the Casa Maria Amor’s mission to help abused women and children. The new development adds to other training opportunities in the lunchtime cafe, catering service, laundry, and copy shop. Training in bakery skills, and English language classes are just starting.

“We are trying to give the women the ability to do things they haven’t done before,” said Kip Gienau.

Vegan Mango, Black Beans, with Sweet Potato. (Photo Kip Gienau)

Diana Vázquez, the Mujeres con Exito director, said: “All the money from sales goes to the women we help.” Women who take on any Mujeres con Exito training are paid for their work as well as being prepared for finding a commercial job. “Finding a job is most important,” said Vázquez. It gives the women confidence and a degree of independence.

Beef, beans, chile, cheese, onion, bacon, cream cheese. (Photo Kip Gienau)

Dozens of people packed the cafe – located at Baltazara de Calderón 2-26 – for the launch and the chance to try mini versions of the loaded potatoes.

One of those attending, Jolene Wilson-Glah, said: “I think the potatoes are great. Very interesting tops. They satisfy a craving I have and they tick all the boxes.”

Another guest, Jaga Rytych, added: “It’s a great idea to have baked potatoes in Cuenca. I enjoyed what I tried even though I had eaten a full breakfast.”

Jolene Wilson-Glah checks the munu. ‘Very interesting toppings.’ (John Keeble)

The range has eight choices of toppings, from favourites like Shepherd’s Pie and shrimp to vegan mango and black beans with sweet potato, and a ninth option of designing your own from a long list of ingredients. They cost between $3.50 to $6.50, depending on topping, with discounts for more than one. Home deliveries add $2 per order. Call or text 098 991 1147 for home deliveries or enjoy them in the cafe.

Mujeres con Exito will donate five pounds of potatoes to local families, via Cuenca Soup Kitchen, for every two loaded potatoes they sell.

How to help:

Cash donations can be sent to our PayPal account:  mcbsusan@outlook.com
The account is in the name of our American fundraiser.  The money is deposited in her account which is ONLY used for Casa Maria Amor and Mujeres con Exito.

DONATIONS BY CAF – Direct link




Baltazara de Calderón 2-26 y Miguel Vélez – two blocks from San Sebastian Park / Green doors



Diana Vázquez Bravo – Director of Mujeres con Exito



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