When the coronavirus pandemic hit, shutting down travel sharply and indefinitely, chef Graciela Montaño quickly pivoted from teaching her cooking classes in person to teaching them over video calls.

“I need to continue, I need to share my passion” says Montaño, who was born and raised in Mexico City, where she runs the Aura Cocina Mexicana cooking school with her family. “I started to search how to do this online.”

Since founding her cooking school in 2009, Montaño has taught more than 1,000 students from around the world about Mexican cuisine. Her guests, often travelers visiting Mexico City, have learned the art of making Mexican classics such as tacos, sopes and churros. To find new students, she’s advertised her classes on Airbnb Experiences, a platform from the home-sharing company that connects travelers with activities hosted by locals, in person and online.

Montaño has tweaked her classes to teach people how to make Mexican food in their homes using ingredients they can find in their local grocery stores. Despite often being in different parts of the world, Montaño is still able to connect with her students in a meaningful way.

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