Doing What We Can to Keep Guatemala Fed

October 27, 2020
- Our Fine Friends

It started with a few burritos but it became so much bigger.

This is a story about worlds colliding, a fated convergence of Funkhaus’ values and skill sets aligning with a population in need.

Funkhaus Partner and Creative Director Dave Funkhouser first met Jesse Schauben, founder and owner of the socially and environmentally responsible restaurant Tacorazon in Guatemala, at the start of 2020. The expats hit it off and, inspired by Jesse’s grassroots concept to build sustainable impacts within the local communities, Dave offered creative assistance on Jesse’s future initiatives.

Within months of their meeting, COVID-19 decimated Guatemala’s already insecure economy. Unemployment rates skyrocketed and food insecurity hit an inflection point. The overwhelming devastation activated Jesse to get his community fed. “When you have a kitchen, you cook,” he said. He quickly developed El Pendiente, a community fridge based on donations, and Tacorazon Central Kitchen, adapted from the model used by World Central Kitchen. The program ensures food resiliency during these times of desperation by providing nutritious meals at a subsidized cost of $4/meal to frontline workers and vulnerable populations who do not know where their next meal will come from.

Jesse brought the idea to Dave, soliciting his help to conceptualize a crowdfunding campaign that would launch the program. Upon diving in, Dave applied a core Funkhaus belief that with strategic, creative solutions, businesses can be propelled forward. Tacorazon Central Kitchen therefore needed a clever and impactful logo, and a moving video to galvanize support. “The logo had to include a hand(s), a heart, and convey the act of giving / receiving,” Dave said about the design direction he received from Jesse. “It had to be smart and also stand out from the myriad of logos in the NGO world. I went into the design wormhole for a couple of days and a happy accident occurred in the exploration. I was messing around with two illustrations of hands intertwining and boom, the overlap of the fingers ended up naturally forming hearts emanating upwards. Uplifting, balanced, grounded, and legible from afar. It was an ‘aha’ moment and the logo ended up being exactly the combination of giving and receiving.”

After finalizing the logo design, Dave and Jesse enlisted the Funkhaus content team to support the messaging initiatives involved in the crowdfunding campaign. Lead Copywriter and Brand Strategist Eliza Gold helped Jesse craft and edit a letter of intent as well as polish the video’s narration that accompanied the GoFundMe campaign. “Eliza and I would go on to talk (and edit) about how to condense twelve years of passion along with the immediate need into a concise letter,” Jesse described.

Dave edited the video and enlisted another friend to create an original background track. “One of the main pitfalls Jesse stressed to me was that we could not fall into a video that was depressing ‘poverty porn,’ trying to guilt people into donating. Overall we wanted to show the positive change the Central Kitchen will provide to the community, and ultimately we landed on a very concise, but effective visual story.”

Once the GoFundMe campaign launched, Funkhaus’ Social Media Manager and Strategist, Erin Himes stepped in to advise on how to gracefully incorporate the charity initiatives into Tacorazon’s social media channels without taking away from the commercial side of their work. “We have always been proud of the social components of our business, in fact, they are at the core of its DNA, but it is a challenging balance to inspire people to eat our food, and remind them how much good our food does for the community,” Jesse described.

The time sensitivity of launching the campaign called for our contributions, from strategy to content creation, to deliver on a tight schedule, but we were pleased to lend our expertise and hopefully help in what is an ongoing dire situation. The work Jesse is doing to strengthen and empower his community in Guatemala continues to inspire us, but the road ahead is long and he can’t do it alone. If you are able to help and kick in some donations to keep Guatemala fed, please visit the Tacorazon Central Kitchen GoFundMe.