As with each of our libraries, Villa Serrano received book donations from both the Banco del Libro and the US Embassy Book Program this year.
In May, before the library even opened, Banco del Libro Director Nelson Larrea made the long trip out to Villa Serrano – a 6-7 hour ride. Nelson has been the national director of the Banco del Libro since 1970 and has opened well over 200 municipal libraries in Bolivia.
Although the library was still under construction, Villa Serrano authorities prepared a room at the local high school and laid out a wonderful selection of books for all the students and teachers to see. These books included not only Bolivian textbooks, but also books from the Japanese Embassy in La Paz – of course, in Spanish!
In September, after the library had already been open for its first couple of months,
Cyndee Crook and Silvia Eguino of the US Embassy Book Program also made the trip out to Villa Serrano. Upon their arrival, another ceremony took place where the Mayor of Villa Serrano, local teachers, BiblioWorks’ Latin America Project Coordinator Megan Sherar, and Cyndee Crook all addressed the audience of local high school and elementary students. At the end, the U.S. embassy distributed juices, notebooks, and balloons to all who were present.
As always in Villa Serrano, a group of young girls performed the famous “zapateo” dance in their beautifully adorned traditional dresses, for which Villa Serrano has recently been named a World Heritage Site.
With the addition of these two book donations, Villa Serrano now has close to 800 books in their library and a wide spectrum of materials about different cultures, all the way from the US to Japan! The library boasts an average of 80 library users/day!