Yamparaez Library Project

Latest News on Yamparaez:

Yamparaez Library Opened!!  On April 24th, 2007 the Yamparaez library was officially opened.

Yamparaez Library Workshop  On March 12 and 13, BiblioWorks, CESATCH, and Project K’ayamanta hosted a library training workshop in the community of Yamparaez, conducted by two library trainers from the Central Mennonite Committee in Santa Cruz.


           Most people call Ana Carola Castro just Carola. She is shy and kind, and very dedicated to improving the library in Yamparaéz any way she can. She works one on one with the library committee in all important matters surrounding the library. Yamparaéz is a small town, so Carola knows everyone. She does many activities with kids in the library, such as showing educational movies, having story time, and having afternoons playing games. She has been librarian for a full year, and is very organized and enjoys knowing all of the books she has in her library.{mosimage}


Original Project Summary from October 2006:

The Yamparaez library project became a reality due to the dream and vision of one small town mayor, who had the opportunity to present his project to local NGO director Victor Menchaca of CE.S.A.T.CH. and receive a visit from BiblioWorks Vice-President, Brendan Sherar.
BiblioWorks Digital Library / Program C

Total Cost/Value of Project:    $15,798.01

Total Cost for BiblioWorks:    $9,260.00

Time Frame of Project:  October – March 2007

Project Written by non-profit organization CE.S.A.T.CH

Yamparaez is a small agricultural community located about 30 kilometers northwest of Sucre, the official capital of Bolivia, in the Department of Chuquisaca.  Getting to Yamparaez is easy since the road is asphalted; the trip only takes about 25 minutes in car.  The community of Yamparaez is very concentrated, the streets narrow and paved with sidewalks.  The houses are constructed of adobe with tile roofs and cement floors.  The majority of the population in this community has basic services, including water, electricity, and septic tanks.

The entire municipality of Yamparaez has a population of 10,013 inhabitants (source: INE population and housing census 2001), with a total of 44 communities. Yamparaez itself has about 1000 inhabitants. The community has one elementary school and one high school.  There is also a primary Health Clinic in Yamparaez and eight other health posts located throughout the municipality.

Yamparaez is based on agricultural production; the principal products are (in order of importance):  corn, barley, and potato.  The climate is very arid, especially in the winter months from April to October.  The community members also sell their livestock during the dry season, to increase income for the family.

The majority of the population is “quechua” and their first language is quechua, having their origins in the pre-Hispanic “ayllu” culture.  The celebration of rituals and customs in the community is a very important part in the lives of the people – times that bring all of the community together to share their joy.  Really every community activity of this sort is actually a celebration of the community itself.  Celebrations include:  the swearing-in of new mayors and authorities, and religious and annual festivals such as Carnival, and All Saints Day (Halloween).  These festivals are accompanied by music, dance, and the sharing of food and drink specific to this area, and the exchange of gifts. The rituals that are performed for the planting and harvesting of crops are done in devotion to “Pachamama”, or Mother Earth, who is responsible for the fertility of the soils.  For the festival of the “Virgen del Rosario”, there is a running of the bulls.

Presently the school kids and the general population do not have access to a library or even a space where they can find a book to reference for their studies.  The very minimum income that the families do have is used for the purchase of household food and agricultural products.  A very small part of the income is used for educational supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and a uniform for their kids to go to school.  Sometimes it is this lack of funds to purchase the books required by the teachers that causes many students to drop out.    The illiteracy rate for the community of Yamparaez is a little bit lower than 43.4% (PNUD-UDAPSO, 1997).

A library in this community will potentially benefit 13 educational establishments that form part of the Educational Nucleus “Eduardo Sempertegui”, all located at an average distance of 6 kilometers from the population of Yamparaez. The majority of the educational establishments have basic infrastructure, but there does not exist sufficient material for teaching.

The library will be a very important and essential instrument in improving the education of the children, the adolescents, adults, and the community at large.  Through the provision of a variety of books and materials, the library will aid and strengthen the educational process, allowing students and adults the ability to do their homework, practical assignments, and investigations.

The library will also provide a much-needed resource for the young adults in the community of Yamparaez, where currently there exists no such space.  Not only will they be able to read and study, they will also be able to be in contact with modern technology and computers, even using educational games and CDs that develop their mental capacity.

In this project, BiblioWorks has committed to providing books, computers, library furniture, and other educational materials to Yamparaez.  At the same time, CESATCH will be providing training to students and teachers in the use of their library.  As well, in the month of March near the end of the project, a workshop has been planned with the Central Mennonite Committee.  This organization is based out of Santa Cruz and has been working with libraries in Bolivia for over 15 years.  Their training is mostly based on promoting activities and literacy at a community level.

Yamparaez has already signed a contract with the National Book Bank (Banco del Libro) in November of 2006, and now their library is registered under the National Library System and Registry.  Under this agreement, the Mayor’s office agrees to pay for all utilities and a librarian.  The Banco del Libro agrees to train their librarian in La Paz during a week-long course in May.

Initially the library will be functioning in a small room donated by the old Mayor’s office, from there the Municipal Government has plans to build a larger infrastructure to accommodate the library’s needs.


Links of Interest:


Google Satellite Images of Region 

General Information about Bolivia