Wednesday 5 June 2024

Confessions

Father I come to confess

I do not believe in Satan

I do not know what guilt is

and I do not know what it is to sin.


I am a pilgrim from a temple

that has no address

I am a devotee of a faith

where god says “I love you”.


A god made of joy

encourages me to love you much:

It would be an administrative god

if he forced me to lose you.


Once I was going up to heaven

looking for true love

and a voice said to me “Come back

I'm waiting for you here on earth".


A god without a chosen people

a god who laughs and embraces

a god who has no church

is welcome in my house. (...)


Alfredo Mires Ortiz

In: Resuellos



Original en español:

Confesiones

Padre vengo a confesarme
yo no creo en Satanás
yo no sé lo que es la culpa
y no sé lo que es pecar.

Soy peregrino de un templo
que no tiene paradero
soy devoto de una fe
donde dios dice “Te quiero”.

Un dios hecho de alegría
me anima mucho a quererte:
sería un dios funcionario
si me obligara a perderte.

Una vez subía al cielo
buscando amor verdadero
y una voz me dijo “Vuelve
que aquí en la tierra te espero”.

Un dios sin pueblo elegido
un dios que ríe y abraza
un dios que no tiene iglesia
es bienvenido en mi casa. (…)

Alfredo Mires Ortiz
En: Resuellos



Triathlon for the Network

For many years, Rural Libraries has had friends in England, grouped in the association, Sarah's Rural Library Fund, who do many things to support us financially: they organize concerts, go on walks, do activities in schools around storytelling and readings, keep their social networks active and bake cakes to raise funds for our rural libraries in the rural communities of Cajamarca.

Sarah Heery, who gave the name to this foundation, was an English librarian who left us this legacy. She visited us in the 1990s and was impressed by the work we do at Bibliotecas. When Sarah passed away we learned that she had left part of her legacy to us, and so this beautiful fraternal contact was born.

Sarah's Rural Library Fund involves Sarah's entire family: her mother, siblings, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and friends. In April, one of the nephews, Rob Porteous, participated in a triathlon and won a prize that is very meaningful to us. From here we have been attentive to Rob's participation, we have received photos, news and we are very grateful for his commitment, his effort, his valuable and supportive gesture.


In one of the photos we see Rob with his family at the end of the race. That photo moved us very much: to see them together, making an effort, so that here, in the distant villages of the Andes of Cajamarca, children, young people and adults from rural areas can have access to books, training and information. It is a very noble gesture.

Thank you for that, truly, from the bottom of our hearts.



BRIE Virtual Trainings

Together with our librarians from the Rural Libraries in Educational Institutions -BRIE- we shared a writing workshop led by Jaime Roldán from 'Al son del corazón viajero' (from the travelling heart). With his instruction we were able to mobilize creativity and imagination: memories, couplets, narratives and reinventions emerged. Writing is more difficult than reading, and to read well we must write better. The act of writing implies a great effort to fill with meaning those strokes of letters on paper, that is what we tried to do in this training. Many thanks to Jaime for being there and encouraging us. Thanks to our BRIE group for their permanence, dedication and desire to continue learning.




When Ño Nepta recounts

Fifteen years ago, in June 2009, our publication “Cuando cuenta Ño Nepta” was published: tales from Bambamarca, narrated by Mr. Neptalí Vásquez Mejía.

Alfredo Mires said, in the presentation of this book, that we have graduated from the university of the life-giving tale. This is how he referred to the capacity of the villagers in all the towns to tell the stories of our traditions, confronting the system that increasingly deprives us of the pleasure of reading, of the capacity to tell and transmit knowledge, joys and sorrows. To feel alive. To know stories from so many places, as Don Neptali did, to tell them to others. Fortunately we are stubborn, Alfredo used to say.

Ño Nepta left a few days ago to meet those who travelled before him and left us this memory that will continue to walk through the towns that continue to tell our history. He must be telling many stories, with all those he meets.

Have a good trip, Don Neptali. 





Alfredo in Qayaqpuma

When we hear the name of this splendorous Apu, the image of Alfredo Mires comes to mind: taking pictures, making tracings, contemplating the little spiders, the little plants that live there. Everything by hand, with his field notebook, his pencil and his camera. Scarce resources for such great purposes. And he was like that: austere and supportive.

Twenty-three years ago, in 2001, Volume I of the Qayaqpuma collection was published by the Rural Libraries Network (thus, well written), clarifying that this publication was achieved after several decades of dedicated study by Alfredo and in an organic and community effort of cultural affirmation, as indicated on the flaps of each of the four volumes that make up this collection.

As a result of this hard work, today we have these publications that record thousands of images that are used by artisans, weavers, painters, among other artists from many places. Many of them recognize and are grateful for Alfredo's legacy.

“Today I walked through the sector of the platforms and I had to deviate a thousand and one times from the paths: the spiders had their webs woven everywhere”. We highlight this text by Alfredo, published in volume III of the same collection, to show in a simple way the deep respect with which he walked through the sacred Apu. And not only did he take care of what he found in his path, but even before starting his walks, he would ask permission with his offering to go quietly into the mountain. And, when he retired, he thanked it for having allowed him his findings.

Now that the Apu Qayaqpuma is in the international news and has awakened so much curiosity, we hope, at least, that the legacy of Alfredo Mires and the way he defended and protected this sacred mountain of which the most ancient of our ancestors were the true owners, will be taken into account.





Tuesday 4 June 2024

The village of our grandparents

A few days ago I finished reading the book: “El Pueblo del Abuelo”, one of the many heartfelt books that live in our Network of Rural Libraries of Cajamarca. I could not help but be uplifted as I flipped through the pages of this excellent book of memory. 

In the assemblies we talk about the sayings of our peasant comrades and the importance of our books, but this only gains momentum when we exercise the right to read.

In this book we can find testimonies of all kinds, which attest to the life and spirit that lies in our apus. Alfredo once told me that we must learn to “remember ourselves”, and I believe that, if there is any way to do it, it is by reading the pages of this important book that shows us how to understand our workmanship from the geographies of these apus, scattered throughout our  land of Cajamarca.

If we evoke some memory of our grandparents, I feel that the first thing that would come to mind would be some warm moment - cozy and calm, but before that space there was always an invitation from the affectionate and cheerful voices of our elders.

Thus, I invite you, with all my heart, to take a look at this and all the books that live in the Network of Rural Libraries of Cajamarca because you can be sure that our grandparents will be there waiting for us with that eternal affection.

Mauricio Perez





Monday 3 June 2024

Smiles

Sometimes, from the Community Program, we want to give a gesture, an affection, a little something to the children with projectable capacities that we accompany in the rural communities - to alleviate something, to contribute with a grain of sand to the hard life of these children and their families.

That is why, in the year 2023, we made an effort to design and have a polo shirt made for each of the children in the program. We did it with a lot of dedication and we think the polo shirts turned out beautifully. And our coordinators were thrilled when they were able to take the little packages to their communities and hand out this little gift.

But the greatest gift was received by us - the smile of the children in the rural areas when, for the first time, they put on their new clothes.