Café de las Sonrisas

Just before leaving Nicaragua I spent a couple of days in Granada. I didn’t really get to see the city as much as I would have liked to, because I was busy studying for my EPSO exam by the pool. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do… But I managed to get a bit of a feel of the town; one of those occasions was visiting Café de las Sonrisas.

Café de las Sonrisas (The Smiles Café) is a project which started six years ago in Granada. It is a nonprofit café which sponsors social actions, like employing hearing impaired for service and youth for weaving hammocks. There are 40 people employed by the project, 30 of them are deaf.

The garden at Café de las Sonrisas. There are bunnies running around and you can relax in the hammock.

I had breakfast at Café de las Sonrisas and as it says on the door when you enter their courtyard garden, it’s not only about eating, it’s about an experience you don’t get every day. The waiter is deaf, so you need to rely on pointing, showing, and talking with your eyes – and your smile.

Breakfast with coffee and watermelon juice. If you order a smoothie, you can mix it up yourself, by pedalling a bike.

There are posters with sign language on the walls and tables, so you can easily learn how to sign ‘thank you’ and ‘an omelette please’ while waiting for your coffee. The atmosphere is really relaxed, there are random bunnies running around the garden; and you can have a swing in the world’s biggest hammock.

Bunnies in the garden of Café de las sonrisas.
The walls of the café are covered in cards with sign language.

As I was told by a friendly entrepreneur whose office was at the next table, the cafe is popular among locals and tourists (so much that the CNN reported about it too), and the concept has also been copied in other places.

I left with a smile. 🙂

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    carmelinee Written by:

    A journalist turned media analyst turned storyteller. Already had a near death experience white-water rafting the source of the Nile, came three meters close to a green mamba and peed in front of a boat of thirty strangers in the middle of a rain forest. Stay tuned for new stories from my trip in Latin America!