Saturday, 24 June 2017

Rebirth in Bambamarca

The district of Bambamarca, province of Hualgayoc, was our next stop: in this zone, 46 years ago, we started our Rural Libraries movement.

At the invitation of teacher Manuela Vásquez, sister of our dear friend Rosa Vásquez - who has long been a member of our Enciclopedia Campesina Project, we arrived at the Educational Institution of the Pedagogical Higher Institute of Bambamarca. There we had a fruitful meeting with the director and his teaching team. They were all very eager to start the process to open their rural library, to engage in the rescue of our ancestral wisdom and to engage in training with their children in the encouragement of reading.

Sometimes it seems that one can never know the full extent of the effects of our efforts, however an echo may reach our ears. And so it went when three out of the seven teachers present spoke of how they remembered with joy their childhood experience of reading to their parents, who could not read, the books they borrowed from the rural library in their community.

Teacher Benigno Edquén Díaz recalls that his father was a rural librarian, and thus all his family read the books to be able to recommend them to the readers. He asserts that having the rural library in his home helped him loose the fear of reading, helped him feel a brotherhood with books, and appreciate his own campesino culture. He not only learned a lot from the books: he grew a lot with them.

And so we were back again, hoping that our efforts and books inspire more young minds, while we keep on keeping on. 

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