Biblioburro: a living library that gathers stories

We just came across with the Biblioburro project, a circulating library-on-hooves that connects the minds and imagination of needy Colombian children:

BiblioBurro (Biblio = Library / Burro=Donkey) is a traveling library that distributes books to patrons from the backs of two donkeys, Alfa and Beto. The combination of the donkey Names (Alfa and Beto compose he word alfabetpo = Alphabet).

Grade-school teacher Luis Soriano developed the idea after witnessing first-hand the power reading had on his students, most of whom had lived through intense life conflicts at a young age. Starting in the late 1990s, Soriano traveled to communities in Colombia’s Caribbean Sea hinterlands with a portable library, which began with 70 books. It now has 4,800 books.

Last year, the project was featured in a delightful POV documentary film (“heartwarming yet unsentimental”) directed by Carlos Rendón Zipagauta. Here is one of the passages that caught our attention:

In some of the film’s most affecting scenes, Soriano encourages the children who gather at his stopovers to tell stories and draw pictures describing their lives. One by one, horrific tales of paramilitary massacres, mutilations and other violent traumas emerge, and the children depict the sadness and fear that shadow their daily existence. 

FJP: Biblioburro has now become an institution in Colombia. Soriano still commutes from village to village in a one-man quest to rescue his country by rescuing some of its poorest children. For them, the Biblioburro represents recreation, education, and more recently, an outlet to tell their own stories to the world. We’ll listen.

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    a living library that gathers stories We just came across with the Biblioburro project, a circulating library-on-hooves...
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    Colombia has some very innovative programs for getting books into people’s hands. For example, Paradero Para Libros Para...
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