Why I love Saúl Mendez

Over the past few months I’ve been going out to breakfast with Cindy Greene at a lovely place called Café Saúl. I’d share how I was doing in life and ministry, she’d listen and share her experiences with life and Young Life in Guatemala. And we would eat. We would eat the most fabulous breakfasts imaginable. Mostly I’d order an omelet, accompanied by beans, plantains, bread, coffee, and juice – all for about $5.00. When I felt like I could justify it, I would order the French Kiss. The French Kiss is a delicious version of french toast that comes with Nutella spread. It’s wonderful, nearly heavenly.

Saúl Mendez is a young businessman here in Guatemala City – in conjunction with the restaurants he has a men’s clothing line. Really beautiful, well made, creative men’s clothing.

Recently, Saúl Mendez’s eye for beauty and creativity has extended out into the city. Café Saúl invites local artists to design their placemats, and rotates new artwork in nearly weekly; in conjunction with this initiative, Saúl sponsered an art fair in Guatemala. 8 blocks were closed down, there was art, there was music, there was dancing.

On Sunday we went to a Saúl sponsored Farmer’s Market.

All these are things that sound completely normal for anyone living in a city in the US, but they are all things that are visionary for Guatemala City. Guatemala is not a city known for creative use of space, for art, for community, and Saúl is attempting to, slowly but surely, redesign the norm for this City. He has a vision for art and beauty, and a vision for bringing that into a place where it is lacking.

This, along with the nutella spread, is why I love Saúl Mendez.

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