(Notes of Alfredo Mires Ortiz, visit to the area of Santa Cruz, September 2017)
It had been a while since we had been communicating with Professor Luis Calderón, a teacher from Poroporo and Catache, in the province of Santa Cruz.
Whether for distance or time - given that we are so few in the Central Team of the Network, we had never met with community members in this area ... until this September.
The night of the meeting in the Poroporo community there must have been about eighty people. All had returned from their labors in the fields, gathering themselves to rest; all were curious to know what was this about rural libraries.
We do not go where they do not invite us. That of arriving "as an institution" to start a project has an intrusive aftertaste, as if "the conscious" knew in advance what the "straggling peasants" need.
So we went there, talking, telling them what we were doing, and leaving open the possibility that they formed their own library: the decision, after all, must be communal and sovereign.
There was a lot of doubt floating about: the history of our people is a mass of absences and broken promises. The book was always an alien character, and when it was present: an improper, irresolute neighbor.
So I began to read one of our books, those that try to be an extension of our assembled elders; those books that have been born of our own seed and our own crop.
Now the eyes were different:
"I need those books for my children," a community member said suddenly. “Come to my community: there we are not shy, there we are already decided."
That night we formed the first rural library in the province of Santa Cruz.
How come we have not been there for 46 years? That is no longer the question: these wanderings are always new.