The Spice of Generosity

By: Jake Sidwell Last Updated: February 23, 2011

Students from the Valparaiso High School Spanish club gathered in the kitchen of Don Quijote Restaurant, seemingly teary-eyed over the food preparation... Or, more accurately the onion cutting had everyone in tears, but spirits were high as Carlos Rivero, the owner of Don Quijote, directed his new workers around the kitchen. He was willing to host the preparation for St. Teresa of Avila’s Café Manna Soup Kitchen, who are a ministry outreach for less fortunate people within the community.

But Carlos isn’t just philanthropic, he’s also a blast to watch in the kitchen. He joked with the students about safety, saying things like, “watch for water, I don’t want you to get killed!” and even jokingly suggested one student could, “work at McDonald’s after learning to fry chicken here”, though I doubt they offer chicken primavera at McDonald’s.

One of the students, Muneed Mohideen, is a senior at Valpo High and an executive officer in the Spanish club, and he claimed, “it’s a good community event, and I think it’s my responsibility to take part”. His fellow students agreed as they tried to squeeze into the kitchen and find ways to help.  Dozens were sent over to the Black Bird Café, another local restaurant involved in the event, to help bake bread as well. They returned shortly noting that, “there were too many people helping.”


Chris Waters, a Spanish teacher at Valpo, said they’ve partnered with Don Quijote for a long time to help out in the community, and they’ll continue their outstanding work together with the homeless benefits every December.

They will be taking the food to Cafe Manna the following day with the help of their students and the Valpo community.

Click here for more photos at Don Quijotes!