(c) Mensajeros de la Paz

    Ángel García Rodríguez is a modern Robin Hood. The 80-year-old takes from the rich and gives to the poor – with the enthusiastic support of everyone involved. He manages to get by without donning green tights, brandishing a bow and arrow, or contending with cruel sheriffs. Restaurants are the only arrow needed in the priest’s quiver…Robin Hood restaurants. 

    The idea is quite simple really: In the morning and afternoon, they are perfectly normal restaurants, like so many others in Madrid, an ideal spot for a delicious breakfast or lunch for those who can afford it – the rich in our scenario. The money the restaurant takes in is then used to provide the homeless and others in need – the poor – with a warm evening meal. 

    That’s really all there is to it, not a lot remains to be said. But because the initiative has been so successful, we are going to go on a bit more. Over 50 years ago, Father Ángel, as he is known to everyone, founded the
    Mensajeros de la Paz charity which roughly translates to Messengers of Peace. What began as a local initiative has since grown into a full-blown NGO with thousands of employees throughout Spain. They care for the elderly, orphans, and drug addicts. Around one thousand volunteers in developing countries add to their ranks. 

    More and more chefs jumping on board
    The Robin Hood restaurants have also enjoyed an impressive growth spurt, and a third was opened in the span of just a few months. Two are in Madrid, and one in Toledo. 

    All the signs point to a continuing upward trend. More and more chefs, many with one star or more to their names, have expressed an interest in supporting the project. In the original Robin Hood, tables are fully booked for lunch for weeks in advance. This is just fine for Father Ángel and his band of Mensajeros de la Paz “merry men and women”, as it allows them to feed up to 200 homeless people a night. 

    If you’d like to learn more about the project, or happen to find yourself in Madrid: The flagship Robin Hood Restaurant is located in Calle Eguilaz, 7, 28010 Madrid and is open daily starting at 8 am.

    This article was first published in German language on enorm magazine. You can find the original text written by  here.

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