I live in Costa Rica, Central America. I live in a beautiful third world country (I am not saying that in a sarcastic tone). I love living here, my only problem: my income. Long story short it is hard to get a decent paying job in the culinary field. I make decent pay working odd jobs that make use of my bilingual skills among others. I need approximately $380 for my monthly living expenses, with no added room for luxuries. I am not complaining though, with $380 I pay my cell phone, can afford dance lessons to stay in shape and employ public transportation at least one a week to see my family seeing as I live about 45 minutes away in the city.
In 2007 I was introduced to a culinary movement by the name of Slow Food. I investigated the concept further and came to admire the movement and its values. When they hosted a festival involving classes, seminars and demonstrations, I was unable to attend. There were many reasons that hindered me from going, ranging from prior commitments to lack of preparation, however impediment was my financial situation. There was no way I could afford an international flight, lodging, meals and participation in the festival.
In 2008 I learned about two special individuals by the name of Sean Aiken and Casey Fenton, each of them inspired me in their own way with their stories and ideas. I felt the thirst for knowledge and the desire to expand the horizons of my kitchen surge with a new sense of urgency. I wanted to learn about different cuisines and cultures.
At the beginning of 2009 I came to the decision that I WOULD attend the 2010 Slow Food festival in Turin, Italy and participate in as many of the activities as possible. I also decided I should make the most of my trip and save as much money as possible so that if given the opportunity I could take classes or attend seminars even in other cities or countries. So with a big idea and high hopes, Mission Europe was born.