We are very pleased to have visited the Rural Libraries project in Peru during the summer, and to be witness to how the dictionaries that we managed to obtain in the Christmas campaign are being distributed to the librarians.
Rachel Hardy, Simon Wheatley and I were very fortunate to be able to be in the countryside in order to meet with the coordinators and librarians who make it possible for the indigenous campesino families in the Andes have access to books.
We spent one night at the house of Don Jacinto Aguilar Neyra, who is 68 and has been a volunteer librarian for 33 years. He is currently responsible for six libraries and was very excited to deliver the new dictionaries since many people make frequent applications for these. It was a warm, moonlit evening and we joined in a traditional ceremony with his family, in honor of the mountains, the earth and the dead.
Previously, Don Jacinto told us of what was lived through in the communities during the time of violence in the 1980s, when the country was rocked by the violence of an internal war. He was responsible for 40 libraries in 4 sectors. Many of them had to close because the librarians were affected and persecuted by the warring factions. In many places the rural librarians had to bury the books in their fields and Jacinto had to live in the mountains, for safety, for a long time. Slowly, Don Jacinto managed to reawaken the libraries and today two new coordinators will help with tasks in the future.
Many thanks to all who continue to support this inspiring community with their efforts to develop literacy and their promotion of the Andean culture.
(On behalf of Sarah's Rural Library Fund)