Despite its coastal beauty and colonial architecture, Nicaragua s oldest city, Granada, is mired in unemployment, poverty and violence. It is the poorest city in Central America where 80 percent of the population survives on less than $1 per day. The picturesque streets are littered with kids (chavalos) who have succumbed to crime and drug addiction. The drug of choice due to its affordability and accessibility: glue-sniffing. With no means of receiving an education, learning basic job skills or finding employment, these kids are left with no options and no hope.
CAFE CHAVALOS follows Orlando, Oscar, Juan Carlos and Moises as they attempt to rehabilitate their lives through a program called Cafe Chavalos — a culinary school, restaurant and rehab center. In their young lives, they have endured drug use, gang violence, abuse and family suicides, but miraculously found hope through the program. They learn to cook, wait tables and run a business. However, during the course of their own journey, the cafe runs into financial problems, lose their head chef and are forced to close. How does that affect the boys? WIll the cafe re-open? Can they persevere?
Nicaraguan filmmaker, Alberto Chamorro, documents the poverty and the lives of these chavalos with compassion, respect and objectivity. Through his observations, he witnesses a transformation not only of the boys, but of a city that has been defined more by its circumstance than by its beauty.