Help build a Cultural Center in Don Juan, a fishing village struck by Ecuador's 7.8 earthquake. A seismic resistant building will house a library, computer center and training areas for 1200 villagers left homeless by the quake. We currently gather in a precarious bamboo structure called "the Library." Children come to do homework, browse encyclopedias and read. For them, the library is interesting, entertaining and provides a safe haven from grim situations caused by the housing emergency
The temporary bamboo structure has suffered damage in its first rainy season: books are getting damp and after downpours, mud leaks through the floor, walls and door. Paradoxically our huge success is part of our problem! Not only are children flocking in every afternoon, but generous donations of books and school material are stacked up. The lack of adequate space makes it difficult to offer cultural events, receive volunteers or invite artists to perform in our precarious cultural center.
We want to build a seismic resistant structure to house our Children's Library and Cultural Center. Local architects have designed a unique building incorporating ancestral technologies and local materials while responding to our library and cultural needs. We plan to involve both skilled and unskilled persons from Don Juan and nearby rural communities in the construction, guided by the local architects. The building process will provide hands-on learning about seismic resistant structures.
A proper library will enhance reading and comprehension rates for children, which will directly improve school graduation and opportunities for continued education. Our cultural and community activities will include training on topics such as leadership, health, ecological awareness, water management, agro-ecology, emergency response and preparedness, legal and human rights, and civil participation, which will result in community empowerment, especially for the most vulnerable population groups.