From Our Editors
The Cultural Kitchen program provides an opportunity for middle- and high-school students in youth-group organizations to learn about a new country, hosteling, and cultural norms. The two-part educational outreach program includes a cultural and service-learning component plus an overnight trip to the Austin youth hostel. Students first research a selected country and participate in activities promoting cultural awareness. Then they select recipes and create a meal plan representative of their chosen countries and prepare a presentation to share with other hostel guests on the night of their stay. While at the hostel, students prep, cook, and serve their international dishes for hostel guests and staff, giving students an opportunity to interact with people from across the globe, share their new knowledge, and, ideally, gain respect for a diverse cross-section of people and cultures. Fees for the program include food costs, curricular materials, and lodging expenses. Hostelling International–Austin hopes to offer the program to organizations that serve underserved youth but don't have the necessary budget for this type of educational program and overnight trip.