Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
El Salvador Sistering Committee

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A beautiful bowl donated to the 2012 MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee's Empty Bowl Dinner.

Beautiful Bowls, Savory Soup, Art, Music and Friends

MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee Empty Bowl Supper


Each year MOFGA's El Salvador Sistering Committee holds this fundraiser, thanks to the generosity of the Unitarian Universalist Church and many Maine potters who donate their beautiful bowls. Several have donated since our first event.

This supper raises funds for the El Salvador Committee’s work. Those funds have helped bring Salvadorans to Maine to tour farms, meet with community organizers and agricultural officials, and participate in the Common Ground Country Fair; helped fund events relating to the Central American Free Trade Agreement for our sistering organizations in El Salvador; and helped with work to prevent mining companies from destroying our Salvadoran sisters' mountains, water supplies, communities and agricultural lands. This year at the supper, delegates who traveled to El Salvador in December 2019 to learn about the effects of climate change and migration on the country will relate their experiences there.

Empty Bowl Suppers started in Michigan in 1990, when a high school art teacher helped his students raise funds to support a food drive. A class project to make ceramic bowls for a fundraising meal evolved. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world. Subsequently, Empty Bowls developed into a project to support food banks, soup kitchens and other organizations that fight hunger. The Imagine/RENDER Group, a 501(c)3 organization, promotes the project, and Empty Bowl events raise millions of dollars worldwide to help combat hunger.

Please join us for delicious soups made by Unity Kitchen, breads donated by Back 40 Bakehouse, desserts and to socialize. Enjoy live music by the Gawler family – “a fun-loving, folk-singing, fiddle-playing family from the heart of Maine,” according to its Facebook page – and take home a beautiful bowl, handcrafted and donated by a Maine potter. For more information, please call MOFGA or check Tickets will be available at the door.

Seeking Bowl Donations

MOFGA's El Salvador Sistering Committee is seeking bowls made by Maine potters for its Empty Bowl Supper. Seconds are fine! Anyone who would like to donate bowls may contact Jean English, [email protected], or leave bowls at the MOFGA office. Thanks!

Mural of the corn spirit in El Salvador

MOFGA's El Salvador Sistering Committee

MOFGA's El Salvador Sistering Committee maintains a relationship between MOFGA and two Salvadoran grassroots organizations working toward sustainable agriculture. The committee explores issues such as organic certification, free trade, marketing, mining, climate change, etc., that affect farmers in both countries.

Several delegations from Maine have visited El Salvador, and delegates from El Salvador have come to Maine to tour farms and participate in the Common Ground Country Fair.

Each April, the El Salvador Sistering Committee hosts an Empty Bowl Supper in Belfast to raise funds for the ongoing collaborative work. Dinner guests make donations to the efforts, enjoy a hearty meal, and take home beautiful, handcrafted bowls made by Maine artisans. We are always looking for donations of handmade bowls (including seconds!) from potters.

U.S. – El Salvador Sister Cities

The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee works closely with the U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities (USESSC) network, a grassroots organization of U.S. citizens and residents who have ongoing partnerships with small rural communities in El Salvador. Those partnerships began in 1986 as a citizen-based response to the U.S. intervention in El Salvador’s civil war. Today, 17 U.S. sistering groups are paired with Salvadoran communities or organizations in six of El Salvador’s 14 departments. The Association for the Development of El Salvador, or CRIPDES, facilitates these efforts. Sister Cities works to connect and strengthen movements for social justice in the United States and El Salvador by sharing experiences, support and accompaniment. The organization strives to build a new kind of globalization, one built from the ground up and united by human values of justice and solidarity. More information about Sister Cities.

Information for Prospective El Salvador Sistering Committee Members

Reports from Past MOFGA Delegations to El Salvador