Last Wednesday, I spent my first day of volunteering at Biblioworks. Biblioworks is a not-for-profit organization that has built and equipped 10 libraries since 2005 in the rural villages around Sucre, Bolivia. It’s a wonderful organization that truly believes that “literacy and education are critical components for the creation and vitality of sustainable communities and cultures.” The first part of my volunteering service will be to visit all of the libraries that BW has created and then help them with programming, training, and collection management. The first library I went to: La Biblioteca “Virgen de Guadalupe” in Yamparáez.
Yamparáez is a small village of approximately 1,000 people. It’s about a 30-minute bus ride from Sucre and is at an altitude of 3,100 m (10,170 ft). I went with Matt (aka Mateo to the Bolivians), the South American Program Director, and Maritza, Matt’s assistant and office administrator.
The library in Yamparáez is one of the strongest BW libraries and has tremendous support from the municipality, the teachers, and the parents. Because of this, the purpose of our visit was to hold a “Going Beyond” meeting which means that the library is now ready to be on it’s own. A 5-year Plan of Sustainability is presented and is signed by the mayor’s office and BW.
It was a great meeting and I am so happy to be a part of such an incredible team of staff and volunteers. Next library – Tarabuco “Biblioteca Municipal” on Monday. I’ll keep you posted!