Thursday, 28 September 2017


The road from Cajamarca to Chuco, in the province of San Marcos, took us about three hours; then we arrived with Alfredo to the house of Juana and Pascual Sánchez. The journey was full of enthusiasm and green tones, mountains, seeds, evergreens and hummingbirds.

When we arrived, after greeting Juana, we went to look for Pascual on the farm. In the distance we saw his thin silhouette and his San Marcan hat: he collected the wheat in the company of his son Manuel, coordinator and librarian.

His steps slow but steady, his head lowering to watch his steps and then rising to direct his eyes towards us, with that generous smile of welcome.

It was great to see the kind and wise Pascual again. In those moments it is not easy to contain the emotion, sealed with the genuine and affectionate greeting of Pascual. It is moving to see two great people embrace with everlasting affection, to see together the two veterans of this movement of books, communities, reading circles and families. It makes you want to continue reading, to be a farmer, to be a librarian and travel the countryside of Cajamarca again and again.

We went to the house and the magic continued. Pascual told us about his link with books, with reading, with knowledge. His father went regularly to the pharmacy, not to buy medicines, but to buy books that were sold there, books to take home. Hence he and his brothers had provisions for the soul. He told us that among his readings are books such as 'The Pillars of the Earth', the Bible, History of Ancient Rome and 'The Story of Charlemagne', among others.

With great historical solvency, Pascual told us the names and histories of several Lombard kings and Carolingians of medieval European times. He also explained to us the process of sowing wheat, potatoes, lentils, beans, alfalfa and many other crops that the earth offers us; he reiterated that he does not sell what springs from her, because they are gifts that are to be served in the family's food, to share with his neighbors and his community.

Then a rich lunch enlivened by the sonorous rhythm of Pascual's voice: life stories, experiences, deep and present reflections and much, much wisdom.

Thank you Pascual, thank you Alfredo, thank you to the community members of the Network for being, existing and persisting!

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