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.
I have really enjoyed the enthusiasm for books and the library that the students in Pampa Aceituno have shown. Maybe it is because they have less access to TV, video games, and books than my students in the US, but the students here are much more excited about using the library than my previous students in the US were. In the case of Pampa Aceituno, this enthusiasm applies to the teachers and community as well, which will allow the library here to be almost completely self-sufficient next year, sustained by the teachers and community who use it rather than an outside NGO.
Two weeks ago, I was privileged to witness a celebration of how much the school of Pampa Aceituno appreciates their library. During a visit from Biblioworks staff, the students put on a variety show to show their gratitude for the new library.
The students sang, danced, and recited poetry for us. Overall, the day was a blast, and one more reason I am glad to be volunteering with Biblioworks.