Libros Para Pueblos (Books for Villages)
Every teacher’s dream: a roomful of students gathered around tables, talking excitedly while waiting for the boxes to be opened. Boxes of books that they can hardly wait to read!
This is the scene of a book delivery at one of the more than 60 school libraries that have been established by the volunteers of Libros Para Pueblos in cooperation with the people of the villages. Each library belongs to and is successfully run by the people of the village where it is located. The people, who are proud of their ownership, are free to implement any of their own ideas or programs.
Periodically LPP offers tours where participants help deliver new books to one of the existing libraries. The new books are added to keep interest growing and to keep up with increasing reading ability of the students. I recently attended a delivery tour to San Bartolo Coyotepec, and we all had a wonderful time handing books to enthusiastic children and then reading with them!
Libros Para Pueblos has been working with the people of the state of Oaxaca for almost 20 years, and the stated mission is: “to work with parents, teachers and town leaders to provide an appealing space and attractive books so the children of Oaxaca have the opportunity to learn to read for fun. Together we are fighting ignorance through the promotion of reading and the lifelong search for knowledge through the written word. After a library is installed we help the village maintain and expand the collection and offer programs and activities designed to further develop the literary talents of children and young people.”
LLP is partially supported by a Mexican family who generously committed to start at least one new library a month through the end of 2013. They also financially support a vision program and installation of computers. LLP is the largest purchaser of children’s books in the state of Oaxaca and thus receives excellent discounts from publishers. The cost for installing a new library of close to 400 quality books is about $3000 US. 100% of the funding comes from private donations, and they do not accept donations from any religious or political organizations.
“We believe that reading is the key to fighting ignorance. Ignorance is the enemy. Together with the towns and villages where we are located and the sponsors that support us we are working to eliminate ignorance and open the door to overcoming the myriad of challenges that confront the children of Oaxaca.”
For more details about Libros Para Pueblos: librosparapueblos.org