Building Sandcastles on a Bolivian Beach

The area surrounding Morado K’asa is exceptionally dry, especially during the winter months. Even so, a tiny oasis hides tucked away between the hills. A previous volunteer wrote about stumbling upon the tiny stream that creates a small pool in which the children love to swim. Well, this Thursday, I got to visit the small mayu (“river” in Quechua) as well. I expected it to be lovely, if small. I didn’t expect the hours of fun that ensued. Bolivia has no coastline, but with a little imagination and the enthusiasm of three little girls, a visit to the small river transformed into a day at the beach!Morado Mayu READ MORE

Bilingual Education in Morado K’asa

Hi, I’m Jennifer, from the US! I’m spending June and most of July running a Club de Lectura in the small town of Morado K’asa, Bolivia. In addition from my work in the library, I have had the opportunity to help out at the primary school in Morado K’asa, running an activity on valores (values) for the kids in sixth grade.

morado school

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La Feria de la Lectura

The team in our blue BiblioWorks shirts

The team in our blue BiblioWorks shirts

I had been hearing about the Feria de la Lectura for months before I arrived in Bolivia. Before I even crossed the border, I had a blue BiblioWorks team shirt waiting for me in the office, and by the time the big day arrived, I was completely caught up in the excitement.READ MORE

A Visit to Yamparaéz

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Hello! My name is Robyn and last week I completed six weeks of volunteering for BiblioWorks, and I must say, it was time very well spent! I arrived in Sucre at the beginning of the term and the libraries were not quite rolling, but I was still able to visit a few communities, meet some children in Morado K’asa, inventory books that will be part of a new collection, and see the enthusiasm that the BiblioWorks staff has for their work.

The first library I visited was in Yamparaéz, which wasn’t open for visitors yet, but this was a great opportunity to see what a typical library is like. Zannah (the Volunteer Coordinator) and I spent some time organizing the books and (me) getting oriented to the community.

We took a micro-bus or a “trufi” to Yamparaéz, which is about 14 miles outside of Sucre. The trufi dropped us off at the edge of the village and, feeling like we were on the set of an old Western, we walked into town.

Drastically different from Sucre, Yamparaéz was similar to what I thought a Bolivian village might be like. I expected to see more people, but apparently most workers go into Sucre or were likely on their farms.

Also, since this was the first day back after the students’ summer break, and classes are held only in the morning, there were no kids around when we went to see the library.

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Entrance to the library.

Entrance to the library.

We took a quick look at the school, which was down the road a short distance. Without the students, it was quiet, but it was still good to see the school grounds.

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There are a few businesses in Yamparaéz, a town hall building with various offices including the mayor’s office, and an arena. The homes that we saw were made out of clay brick, dirt, adobe or concrete. There were a few buildings that looked uncharacteristically modern.

Walking through the area gave me better idea of the deep need Yamparaéz, and communities like it, have for a functioning and vibrant library. To have staff that understand the people who live there and their literacy needs, as well as support from outside sources such as BiblioWorks and their volunteers, are crucial to the longevity of such a library.

Volunteers play a very important role in this mission. It takes time and effort to get to Sucre, and especially to the small villages, some of which are six hours away by trufi. Volunteering takes a commitment that is so needed to maintain the momentum of the work being done here. But it is worth it. It’s a privilege to be welcomed into these isolated communities, to be part of an effort to promote books and reading, and to experience a part of Bolivia that most travelers will never see. I encourage anyone who has an interest in offering your skills and energy to this kind of work to contact BiblioWorks to see how you can be of service. It will be an experience you’ll never forget.

Zannah and Robyn.

Zannah and Robyn.

Discovering Morado K’asa

Every week, I find myself walking 2k to the nearest town, Cororo, to buy a bus ticket back to Sucre.  Normally my walk takes me along the Tarabuco carretera, a 30 minute journey traipsing across a beautiful but incredibly dry landscape.  However, the highway twists and turns, causing the trip to meander rather than lead directly to the neighboring town.  Having walked the same road a couple of times, I was convinced that there must be a more direct route between the two.  Today, I decided that I would try to find the illusive shortcut between my home in Morado K’asa and Cororo.READ MORE

Volunteering in Pampa Aceituno

I have been volunteering with Biblioworks for just over a month now. I am working in one of Biblioworks` few school libraries, located in the community of Pampa Aceituno, which is about a half hour drive outside of Sucre. It has been a fascinating experience. Everything, from taking care of the library, helping teachers tutor students who need one-on-one attention, teaching a weekly English class, to simply getting there (usually in the back of a camioneta), has been a great experience for me.

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My First Week At BiblioWorks!

Hi everyone!

If you’re reading this you’re probably thinking about volunteering at BiblioWorks, and to you I say, DO IT!* After a going through security screenings in four different countries I arrived to beautiful** Sucre last Saturday. After only a week of working here I’m totally convinced that I made the right decision to be the BiblioWorks Volunteer Coordinator for a year. By the way, my name is Zannah, like Hannah, but with a Z. 🙂READ MORE

New Volunteers at BiblioWorks

Erin worked with a women’s group in Tarabuco offering literacy classes to them

During the month of September we were with very few volunteers here at BiblioWorks in Sucre, Bolivia. That was strange because 2012 has been the year of the volunteer for BiblioWorks. We have had over 20 volunteers since January who have all contributed positively to the growth of the organization and created new and exciting activities in each of our libraries.READ MORE

Allen Singleton
Featured Library: Padilla
To be inaugurated in June 2016
BiblioWorks’ 13th library
4 hours from Sucre

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