Aug 13, 2018

Biblioteca Paz y be Continued

Five months ago citizens of Paz y Vida gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the grand opening of Biblioteca Paz y Vida.  Representatives from the Frankfurt Granada Association, the German Embassy and Luisa Amanda Espinoza Association of Nicaraguan Women (AMNLAE) spoke in celebration of this tiny village library, and the future it would hold.  After all, it was their ingenuity and resources that constructed the building.  It was your begheartedness and From Books to Brilliance’s energy that supplied it with books.

Unfortunately, in July we traveled to Guatemala only.  Due to four months of political unrest our plans to visit Nicaragua are on hold.  We will return to grow Paz y Vida’s Library with your generous donations as soon as travel warnings are lifted and our small team of volunteers can travel safely.  Nonetheless, this rural library continues to operate daily.  For them the chaos of the big cities is distant. 

Please note that lives of citizens young and old continue to improve dramatically.  Just a few years ago all were homeless.  Today in houses with running, potable water, standard flooring and electricity, they live “dignified” lives.  Children no longer gather wood and fetch water every morning.  They attend school and go to Peace and Life Library to do homework, read and play games with friends.  Their future surely looks different from their past.

And so our plans in Paz y Vida are delayed.  From Books to Brilliance’s Board of Directors has decided to remove this project from GlobalGiving…for now.  We thank you for your understanding, and pray that Nicaragua will return quickly to the peaceful country we love so much.

Grand Opening with German Ambassador Ute Konig
Grand Opening with German Ambassador Ute Konig
Jul 23, 2018

Biblioteca Escolar, the Beginning

At Instituto Privado Mixto Kajib’ No’j everybody helps.  When our small team arrived in July, third graders were sweeping the garden area with adult-sized brooms.  “They’re here,” they shouted in Spanish and K’iche’, and quickly returned those oversized brooms to their proper container, one made of recycled water bottles.  The kids’ enthusiasm is contagious.  Students, ages five to sixteen, know the opportunity that lies before them.  Most of their parents went to school for two years.  Kajib’ No’j provides eleven years of education, preschool through ninth grade.

Thanks to you, GlobalGiving supporters, and to our partners at the Austrian Guatemalan Institute, Kajib’ No’j now offers a school library as well.  Here elementary teachers plan lessons while referencing Guatemalan-published textbooks, and middle school students read some of the world’s great literature.  In fact, the school recently celebrated their own Día del Libro, or Day of the Book.  In the gymnasium parents browsed the literature that From Books to Brilliance provided.  Students then acted out scenes from their favorite books.

Just a few weeks ago, our team added one hundred children’s books, as well as dozens of games and puzzles to this new library.  Class by class, the youngest students at Kajib’ No’j filed in to see these exciting new resources.  Preschoolers couldn’t wait to put together the puzzle with the giraffes, monkeys and elephants.  First-graders loved the Mayan alphabet book…G for Güipil and Q for Quetzal.  In planning for the future, teachers requested class sets of textbooks for grades one through six.

Students are proud of their school that the Austrian Guatemalan Institute founded over twenty years ago. “The kids bring their own supplies,” says Principal Pedro Euligio. They carry backpacks with pencils, erasers, scissors and rulers.  They know that learning is a privilege that will lead to better opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities.  The faculty and students at Kajib’ No’j asked us to thank you all!

May 14, 2018

Biblioteca Paz y Vida, Now Open and Serving its Community

Grand Opening, Biblioteca Paz y Vida
Grand Opening, Biblioteca Paz y Vida

You definitely won’t need directions.  Just watch and listen for all the action…young readers coming and going, moms checking in on their kids, and from time to time the contagious and hilarious laughter of youth.  You’re now right in front of Biblioteca Paz y Vida.  Meet Marbel, the little library’s coordinator, who introduces its small patrons to so many educational resources.  She manages them all…the books, puzzles, maps, globes, pencils, silly-looking erasers, and the pint-sized tables and chairs, so perfect for Paz y Vida’s enthusiastic learners.

 “Reading is education, and education is a gift to humanity,” says Indira Morales, partner and project manager for the Luisa Amanda Espinoza Association of Nicaraguan Women (AMNLAE).  In March citizens gathered to celebrate that gift at Biblioteca Paz y Vida’s grand opening.  In the spirit of “sisterhood” German ambassador, Ute Konig, congratulated the community.  She spoke of the many individuals and organizations in Nicaragua, Germany and the United States that worked together to create this library.

Remarkable!  Just a few years ago, all Paz y Vida citizens were homeless.  Thanks to AMNLAE’s vision and dedication, all now live in beautiful, small houses with standard flooring, running water and electricity.  Children here no longer fetch water and wood every morning.  They go to school, and to the library.  They do homework and study.  Many come just to read stories, color, or put puzzles together.

The Frankfurt Granada Association and the German Embassy funded the building construction.  You, dear friends, supplied a plethora of books and educational materials.  And GlobalGiving's platform allows us reach out to the world for help.  Biblioteca Paz y Vida is a truly global initiative. Thank you!


Grand Opening, with German Ambassador Ute Konig
Grand Opening, with German Ambassador Ute Konig
The library, just the beginning
The library, just the beginning
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