Archive for February, 2010

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The End of La Chureca?

February 18, 2010

I wanted to let you know about another thing that Maria talked about, which is an expansive project that has already begun. According to what I’ve read and heard, the government plans to build  to “a separation plant for recycling of inorganic materials” and “a composting plant for organic waste use that may be useful as an agricultural fertilizer,” according to this translated article.

“One of the most relevant components of the project is the socio-economic issue, which envisages the creation of jobs, school integration and access to training. “

Another article says this of the project:

“The project not only provides the rehabilitation of the landfill, but will make an intervention at all Acahualinca neighborhood, a slum neighborhood in Managua where is La Chureca.
. . .
The project will include specific education programs, vocational training, health and business incentives. Plans will be implemented school scholarships for children and adult literacy. “

Some people have already been relocated to Tipitapa. In December when some of my friends went down there, they helped build a church in Tipitapa. I do not know of any specific time line, I simply know that this means there are many people working to improve the living condition and livelihood of these precious people.

Here is another article about the project.
And here are two more sources of information. One. Two.

So what does this mean for the Library Mission? It means wherever these people go, we follow. Thank you to Ross for finding me these articles.

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I Had the Opportunity to Speak with Maria

February 15, 2010

This past week Maria spent some time in the United States and, with the help of a translator, I got to speak with her on Wednesday. Right now there are 80 kids in the school ages 4-10–that’s all they can handle–and about 300 kids total in the community. Maria said she’s been praying for a library for ten years, and her vision is for it to be a place where all the kids can come even if they aren’t attending the school. She wants them to be equipped to get jobs.

She had a list of all the materials that were needed for the school for the whole year, from books to erasers. The translators, Jessey and Madaline Pacheco have a copy, which they offered to clarify a bit for me. (Right now it’s entirely in Spanish. I could figure it out, but it would take quite a while.) Naturally, many of these items cannot very well be purchased here. Thus, if the Library Mission is a part of getting the items on the list–which I hope we will be!–then our focus will be on raising the necessary money.

I asked if Maria would be interested in having things such as crafts or puzzles, and she said she would. When talking with the group as a whole she said that basic things such as pencils and paper or basic art supplies are always welcome and needed. So, I think it’s fair to say that if you wanted to donate a box of colored pencils or something, then I’ll get them there. After all, libraries are so much more than books, and a school is so much more than lectures–especially in some cultures.

There’s another thing I wanted to let you know about. Jessy Pacheco came up with a great idea that personally would give me so much more peace of mind. He suggested forming a Book Approval Committee. These people would be fluent in Spanish and help me go through every book making sure it meets certain standards that we would create. So, I need to find some people who would be willing to do this, begin forming standards, and then put together some simple spreadsheet that could be filled out to evaluate a book. If you yourself would be interested in helping with this or think you know someone who might, then please send me an email or comment below.

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Metamorphosis

February 8, 2010

Because the Library Mission is meant to be something useful, expect to see a lot of practical changes in the next couple of months. As I mentioned before, when my youth group returns to Nicaragua we will be doing something Library Mission related. Several adults planning the mission trip have been brainstorming how my youth group can be involved in this mission: what are the most practical and beneficial ways. I’ve only heard snippets, but I am extremely grateful for all the thinking they have been doing. Something they thought of that never occurred to me is the matter of cleanliness. Originally, it was the idea to establish two library branches that would share books over a period of time. Aside from the logistical challenges of transporting them between places, the matter of germs is something to pay attention to. It makes much more sense medically to keep the books where they are originally put so that less children are exposed to germs from other locations. In conclusion, it is now the plan to establish separate libraries.

Another thing I expect to be reevaluating is the books themselves. Once the library is already in place on however small a scale, I hope to have communication about what type of books would be of interest and usefulness to the children. Culturally, literature varies. The collection of books may be unusual in the beginning, so I want to want to make sure that it grows with applicable materials. What does this mean practically speaking? I’ll be revising book donation standards over time. It also means I want to look for ways to in the future to raise money that can be used to buy books that are specifically chosen by someone in Nicaragua. I could do that on a small scale myself by having a garage sale and using the proceeds for the Library Mission. Groups of people interested in helping could do something similar.  The Library Mission has a long way to go. Let’s enjoy the journey.