Interview Paz y Vida citizens and many will tell you that “Poverty has moved elsewhere.” Living in a house complete with flooring, water and electricity is magical. The children of 72 families no longer begin their day in search of wood and water. They suddenly have time to go to school, time to read and time to play. Citizens of Paz y Vida are about to take another giant step forward. With the opening of Biblioteca Paz y Vida in July, those children will also have access to books.
Please meet our Paz y Vida Library Creation Team! We are business people, a teacher, a physician’s assistant, a high school freshman, and a project manager for AMNLAE, a women’s cooperative in Nicaragua. We are volunteers. Creating village libraries is what we love to do! From the moment we land in Nicaraguan the fun begins, and all hands are on deck. In ten days, a lifeless, empty building will become a buzzing library full of books, games, puzzles, kids and laughter.
Your generosity will serve thousands. Andrew Carnegie claimed that “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” Please check back in July and August to witness that magic...your magic. Thank you.
Offering children’s literature, textbooks, puzzles and much more, Biblioteca Paz y Vida opens in July. In Georgia, Texas and New Mexico From Books to Brilliance (FBTB) volunteers eagerly await our summer trip to Nicaragua, but in Paz y Vida there is already a flurry of activity. Our partners are finishing construction on FBTB’s library space, as well as replacing dozens of the most wretched shacks in the village with houses suitable for human habitation. Paz y Vida is enjoying a complete physical transformation, bringing with it benefits that its citizens have never known…the freedom and time to educate themselves, and the opportunity to create a better future for themselves and their families.
Meet Claudia, a resident of Paz y Vida. Like most of its citizens, Claudia and her family live in a “casa de carton” consisting of wooden planks, corrugated metal, sheets of plastic and cardboard. Day to day survival is her life. Claudia’s four young children spend most of their days fetching water for washing and drinking, and finding firewood for cooking. Without a door that locks, Claudia or someone she trusts must be home at all times to protect her twelve by twelve foot shack and everything in it. Her neighbors are equally destitute. Left unattended Claudia’s metal roof could become part of their roof and her firewood may cook their dinner. Claudia cannot leave her home to learn a trade or seek employment; her children cannot regularly attend school. This woeful reality holds Claudia and her entire family captive, unable to improve their lives.
Life is about to change for Claudia. One of the sixty-two newly constructed houses will be her home. For the first time in her life, Claudia will have running water, electricity and the freedom to leave, locking the door behind her. No longer needed for mere survival of the family, Claudia’s children will attend school regularly. Our partner, the Association of Nicaraguan Women Luisa A. Espinoza (AMNLAE) has already transformed the lives of 729 families in seven similar villages. FBTB created libraries in three of them. Many children call the village library their second home, and school attendance has risen sharply. Teachers and librarians work together toward the common goal of educating children. We expect that Biblioteca Paz y Vida will be vital to its citizens as well. Children will have a place to read, do homework, discover the world and recreate with friends. Education will be within their reach; the opportunity to create a better future will be theirs.
Now is a time of preparation for the citizens of Paz y Vida. AMNLAE’s efforts magnify the success of FBTB libraries. Please stay tuned for further updates of Paz y Vida’s transformation, and of their library’s grand opening in July!
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