A big "muchas gracias" to those of you who have donated to this project thus far. As we have recently received funding for technology based resources and some of that technology can be used in remote regions where there is neither electricity nor computers we are shifting our focus from the "bibliobus." We are looking to replace those horses with internet connectivity, computers and both on and offline education resources and also to increase our collaboration with local schools. Our first pilot project community will be Tatumbla, outside of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
As a result we will be closing out the bibliobus project. We encourage you to watch this space for a new project related to providing access to the vast amount of information available on the internet.
In the rural, Chorti communities surrounding Copan Ruinas, Honduras there are ten communities high up in the hills waiting and hoping for the arrival of a "bibliobus." Currently, each community has a small supply of books provided by the Riecken library in Copan Ruinas. When it is possible to navigate the unpaved roads with either a four-wheel drive vehicle or horses the books are rotated among the communities. There are young people in these communities yearning for access to the global community without walking three hours a day to find both electricity and internet. With a bibliobus we could not only provide more books and a lending library but access to the internet using tablet and cellular technology.
Honduras is a country on the verge of being called a "failed state." Our mission is to provide access to information so that the people of Honduras might change that. Each of our 53 libraries in the country could benefit from having a "bibliobus" but we are asking for your help in just getting one up and running. Once we have a prototype we can then go on about raising additional funds for more.
The photo included with this video shows two community reading promotors from the rural communities getting their first look at a Khan Academy math video and an iPad. Now they know what is possible.
We thank you for your donations to date and hope that you will continue to support us in our mission to get more information on wheels to rural communities in Honduras.
During a recent visit to Honduras hiking was necessary as the mostly dirt path had had some fresh cement added to its most challenging places. At the end of our hike was an eager group of youngsters waiting for their story hour. A small collection is moved from the central library in Copán Ruinas to ten different "mobile" libraries in indigenous Chorti communities accessible only by four-wheel drive, foot or horseback. Lacking our bibliobus means that each library has a very small selection of books at any one time. However, having just a few books has changed the lives of many of the young people in these villages. They have learned to read and have learned that there is access to information just a 90-minute walk down the hill into town. Students who are pursuing their education past the 6th grade make that walk twice a day. Raul, age 23, is very proud that he is now in middle school. He volunteers his spare time reading to kids and helping to move the books from library to library. With your help we could have a well-equipped "bibliobus" that could serve these communities much more efficiently and given them greater access to not only books but also technology. Muchas gracias.
Library in San Pedro Sula ready for training class
Thanks to a recent grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we have embarked on a program to re-train all the librarians in the Riecken network. This past week 35 librarians attended five days of training in San Pedro Sula. The training was developed by Honduran Country Director, Paco Alcaide, who has a library science degree from the University of Grenada in Spain. As a result of this training the librarians are now even better equipped to not only serve their libraries but also very remote communities where there are no libraries and no books. The best way to serve these remote communities is with a mobile library and with your continued support this could become a reality. We are still a long way from our goal but are ever hopeful that someone who cares about development in Honduras will turn up and agree to help with this project. In the meantime, please donate whatever you can to bring books and information to the less fortunate in Honduras. We invite you to click on the links below and listen to a 2007 interview with founder, Allen Andersson, about how he can to build this network of libraries. Muchas gracias.
This past weekend, May 19-20th 2012 over two hundred residents of Copan Ruinas, Honduras and ten surrounding rural communities came together to celebrate the culmination of a three-year project funded by the Finnish Consulate of Central America. Thanks to this project there are now books in ten Chorti communities accessible only by horseback or four-wheel drive vehicles. While we recently have received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen the existing network of libraries (see link) in order to continue to serve these communities we have a very real need for a mobile library "Bibliobus" which can reach these communities regardless of the weather and make new books and new programs available to these underserved Hondurans. No donation is too small. Please donate whatever you can. Muchas gracias.
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