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Save The Lucian Cooking School

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The Little Lucian Cooking School is more than a family business. Because of shared vision and dedication, has become a humble sustainable tourism product on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. The multi-generation venture has changed one family's lives, the island guests they entertain and brings vitality and hope to the communal property and neighbourhood they live in. The Little Lucian in it's fourth year has created a demand for authentic Caribbean cooking classes but faces loss of livelihood because of recent Hurricane Matthew and the flooding that followed. Please view our video attached to this site to meet the team and see the cultural site.

The Plan
Phase 1. Get the cultural tour off the ground! Literally.
Tropical weather is typical in St Lucia and the beautiful property bordering the Grande Riviere is not going to change either. So we will prepare the foundation first then build the railed platform 6 feet off the ground with wheelchair and boardwalk access.

Phase 2. Using natural and sustainable products we will rebuild the cultural centre. Using locally harvested grasses, bamboo and timber duplicate traditional building methods to build a beautiful stick, wood and grass covered open-concept platform.

What we have done so far..
Mamu Matilda and her team have put together a small bamboo structure already. We will dismantle it and rebuild it on top of the platform. We have cleaned up the site, repaired and rebuilt what we could. 

Enquiries for Bookings are coming in..
Guests to the island of St Lucia love to come to The Little Lucian, they read the reviews, they see the pictures, they feel they know the family. They want to come.  
The tour has begun to develop a great reputation, and a new livelihood for the Matthew's family.
Read our TripAdvisor reviews here.

Will you help us save the livelihood of Mamu Matilda and her family as we enter into this tourist season and the opportunity to showcase authentic Caribbean cooking to curious travellers like yourself?

Who will rebuild The Little Lucian Cooking School?
The Matthew property is a perfect campground. Would you like to join the Friends of The Little Lucian by joining us on site to build this structure over a 10 day period or however long you can come? Are you a tradesman, carpenter, dishwasher or project supporter that would like volunteer to join us?

How you can help.
First donate. Tell your friends. Ask them to donate. Get a group of people together and join us to rebuild in St. Lucia. Follow our campaign and remain friends. Join us at The Little Lucian Cooking School and meet Mamu and the family in person and eat at their table....or better yet share a meal at the table you both built.

Chef Jo-Anne Schultz, co-founder The Little Lucian Cooking School.

Who we are helping.
The Matthew's family are traditional St Lucians that have been living off this historical parcel of land inherited from an ancestor. First as indentured slaves, but always people of the soil, the Matthew's family has hung on to traditions and customs passed on from generation to generation. On this rustic tropical garden and hand-hewn organic farm they grow mangoes, bananas, plantain, yams, guavas and papayas. Mamu (grandmother Matilda) prepares and advises on herbal remedies, grows local produce, flowers and root crops for themselves and to sell at her roadside grass booth to passerbys.
Recently, however, they've capitalized on the opportunity tourism has brought to the island to build a new life for themselves and hope for their children. 

Encouraged by operational support from My Authentic Food and international friends, investing everything they had, they built The Little Lucian Cooking School. Harnessing recipes passed down from generation to generation, the cooking school teaches authentic Caribbean cooking on traditional cooking vessels called Coal Pots, taught by the family at their beautiful organic farm.

Mamu Matilda, best friend Mary and grandson Yohanne teach about both the current palette of the locals as well as the food origins of this historic isle. Through hands-on instructions and ingredients picked on the farm itself, the guests learn to cook, and eat, like a local. They also help education visitors through an informative tropical garden tour that culminates in a delicious Saint Lucian lunch finished with fresh coconut water.

This was taken away from them violently in the wake of Hurricane Matthew hitting them full force and the days of flooding that followed.

The Disaster
Though she hoped for the best, you could see Mamu watching the skies as they darkened with Hurricane Matthew. "Within an hour everything changed!" Mamu chokes as she retells of barking out orders as she saw the river she had raised 4 generations next to, start to flood it's banks. She said her eyes instinctively flashed back to her children's homes, seeing her grandchildren clutching the thin railings as they peaked out of their houses. Fortunately the houses stood strong in past storms.

As pictured above, tropical homes in low areas are built traditionally on stilts, though humble, built to hold strong against the flood waters of hurricanes and tropical storms. The Grande Riviere, a small river compared to many, was flooding its banks with Hurricane Matthew bearing down on the island of St Lucia, the Matthew family homes, their livelihoods and site of The Little Lucian Cooking School. After days of battering rain, winds and a flash flood little remained of The Little Lucian Cooking School.

Hurricane Matthew


"Every herb that I planted, every crop on the farm we grew, every shrub, every flower, every bush was ripped up by it's roots and swept away!" According to Mamu, proper precautions had been taken to protect the cooking and visitor site for The Little Lucian Cooking School but the waters came too fast and over took the whole farm. "Nearly everything got destroyed or washed away."
A friend from My Authentic Food says, "We assist people interested in showcasing their authentic cuisine and were days away from securing proper insurance for this family-run operation."

Sample structures: 

Thank you so much for your thoughtful attention. Please donate now.


Organizer and beneficiary

Jo-Anne Schultz
Los Angeles, CA
Matthew Heisie

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