The Wood-Fired Blog
Bella Grande36 in outdoor breezeway at Villa Esperanza

Bella Comes to Villa Esperanza

Jul 03, 2018Posted by Forno Bravo

Villa Esperanza, or “Village of Hope,” is a residential girls school in Managua, Nicaragua built by Forward Edge International in 2008. It is currently home to 30 vulnerable or abused girls, ages 8 – 19. Many of the girls previously lived in and around La Chureca, the 70-acre  residential and industrial Managua city dump, a place marked by extreme filth, poverty, contaminated air, drug abuse, and sex trafficking.

The Villa offers the exact opposite of these conditions– nutritious meals, safe drinking water, clean lodging and clothes, quality education and tutoring, medical and psychological care, spiritual mentoring and support, and life and vocational training.

Villa Esperanza was the brainchild of a school principal in Managua as she got to know some of the at-risk girls living in and by the dump. It offers a safe place to heal and a way out of poverty for the girls and their families.

Infographic of continuum of care offered at Villa Esperanza

Comprehensive care offered at Villa Esperanza

Pizza Oven Expands Vocational Opportunities

Villa Esperanza’s work is supported by many volunteers and fiscal sponsors from around the world. One of these partners is Impact Church out of Scottsdale, AZ. On a site visit there, the girls talked with the team from Impact about how much they enjoyed making pizza. Pizza is not very common in Managua. Villa Esperanza frequently hosts mission teams, and the girls would make pizzas for them one at a time in an oven. Two of the girls told the guests, “When we graduate from the program at Villa, we are thinking about opening up a pizza shop.”

With all the talk of pizza, Pastor Randy Phillips felt that they could really use one of Forno Bravo’s pizza ovens. He reached out to Ken Driscoll of Micro Metals, Inc., a family-owned business in Colorado and the parent company of Forno Bravo. Mr. Driscoll has also been part of several outreach teams for building projects in underdeveloped countries. He was on board instantly and sent the school a Stainless Steel Bella Grande36 wood fired pizza oven to use in their training and nutritional programs!

3 pictures of crew assembling the Bella Grande36 Pizza Oven

Assembling the Bella Grande36 Pizza Oven

Benefits of a Bella

A team of volunteers/staff quickly got the oven cart assembled and ready to go. Lightweight and portable, the Bella is perfect for the school, allowing it to be used in a variety of ways at events and locations around the property. The Bella’s fast heat up times and fuel efficiency are also bonuses for the school, saving them time and money. According to Jeff Thompson, a senior program officer at Foward Edge International, “The oven will be used to train our girls and others on how to make quality pizzas, providing experience and the skills to help them in their future goals.”

Forno Bravo is honored to be a part of this important work that is improving the lives of young people and families in Nicaragua. Pizza truly can transcend borders.


Have any questions?