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Third Annual Report 2004

La Biblioteca de San Agustinillo

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Mazunte, Oaxaca
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Another year full of surprises, generosity, hard work, and lots of fun.

First to update you on practical matters, the library, growing every day, now boasts nearly 4,000 books on the shelves: some 2,000 in Spanish (over 1,000 of those for children), 1,500 in English, and 500 in other languages, mostly French and German, but some in Hebrew, Danish, Swedish, Italian, and Dutch. This year we received our first donations in Japanese!!

This year we received many generous donations: books in Spanish from Mexicans living in Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Cuernavaca; books in French from our French Canadian friends and Lionel, San Agustinillo resident who lives part time in France; books in English from our very good friends in the U.S. and Canada. We have received many compliments on our fine selection of books, which is thanks to all of you.

Cash donations helped us purchase two copies of the latest Harry Potter book, which is 900 pages in length and a pricey little book at that (thanks, Miguel)! Also, with cash donations from Kathy Kaye in Seattle, Jan Modeland of San Francisco and San Agustinillo, Donna Rutherford in Canada, and our Chicago Contingency, we built a new palapa roof over the outdoor study/play area, allowing us to stay open during the summer thunderstorms. We also received support from the town. Chera Mendea tied all the palms, 'solo,' at no cost to the library. His three boys helped by handing him the palms from below...also at no cost to us!!!!

The most interesting and enjoyable activity this year was the ceremony for our winners of the EL NIQO Y LA MAR ART CONTEST 2003, which took place in Oaxaca City last October. This is a National Art Contest. In year 2003, there were 1,500,000 drawings submitted throughout Mexico. Each state is awarded 3 winners (first, second, and third), which means only 96 children win out of 1,500,000!! Very impressive, don't you think? In Oaxaca, there were also 14 honorable mentions. Library Associates Carole Reedy and Harper Jones, Art Teacher and inspiration Desiree Herrmann, Jan Modeland, and Bob Jones accompanied the winners, Javier Mendez Olivera (third place) and Cristian Rodriguez Fajardo (honorable mention) and their parents to Oaxaca City for three days. Jan, and her dog Mocha, drove us in her van. We stayed at the Aurora hotel, just three blocks from the zocolo and experienced the activities each night in the zocolo. As always, Mexico is an adventure. The location of the ceremony was changed at the last minute due to 'strikes' in front of the education building, but with the help of Oaxacan resident Desiree, we finally found the ceremony just moments before it began....on Mexican time, of course. If it hadn't been for Desiree, we would still be roaming the streets of Oaxaca! The boys received many gifts of books and art supplies as well as much recognition from the Secretaria de la Marina. Each child who participated in the contest received a recognition diploma. Another one of our kids, Viena Avalos Pastor, had a drawing in the top 100 in Oaxaca!

In March 2004 we entered the EL NIQO Y LA MAR contest again. This year we had over double the number of participants, and we sent 69 drawings to Oaxaca City. LO AND BEHOLD.....ANOTHER WINNING YEAR...yes, Cristina Rodriguez Fajardo took third place!!! Out of thousands of drawings for the past two years, this little town of 250 people has had third place winners both years. This, we anticipate even more participants next year. This year's ceremony will be held in Salina Cruz on a boat!

Many of you ask about the types of donations the library. needs. Books in all languages, especially Spanish (particularly reference books for the young adults), is our priority, of course. This year we had a huge increase in donations of books in Spanish and French, which has improved our balance. The children love coloring and activity books with mazes and word games. Any art supplies, play dough, etc., are used daily. As always, cash donations are our bread and butter. For example, it costs the library about 150 USD to enter the kids in the EL NIQO Y LA MAR NATIONAL ART CONTEST. This includes all the paints, brushes, paper, cost of special delivery of the drawings, and the Annual Art Exposition that displays all the paintings entered. Since we have had winners two years in a row, we anticipate even more participants in 2005! Donations of your time and talent benefit the children. This year we were fortunate to have Netta Gorman, Mathew Olsen, Isis Zurita, Desiree Herrmann, and Robert and Betty Lewis who helped the kids with art projects, English Classes, story telling, as well as helping with day to day cleaning and organizing tasks in the library. Thanks to Nancy's idea and donation of Scrabble sets, we are on our way to becoming SCRABBLE CHAMPS. Actually, Chess has taken a back seat to SCRABBLE as the 'most played game' in the library. We also have a game in English, for any of you who are interested in playing during your visit, or you may want to improve your language skills with a game in Spanish. We have quite a few musical instruments, including 2 keyboards, a guitar and flutes, if any of you want to share your skills in that area!

But Chess is never forgotten...In January, we entered 12 children in the CHESS TOURNAMENT that was part of MAZUNTE'S ANNUAL FAIR. There were 18 participants total, so we were a majority! The first place winner was an experienced adult who shared not only his knowledge but also his PRIZE MONEY with all the kids. We had the third, fourth, fifth, etc., place winners. We are sure in January 2005 we will have the first and second place winners!

The final activity of the summer was English Classes given by Carole, which, with the appearance of three Italian students, was converted into a multilingual class. Carole taught English to everyone; the Italian kids taught Italian to Carole and the S.A. kids; and The S.A. kids taught Spanish to the Italian kids.........On that note, we say 'CIAO'....and we hope to see all of you this next season.


CAROLE REEDY carolina_reedy@yahoo.com
Associate and Encargada de La Biblioteca

NANCY FOERTSCH nancyfoertsch@comcast.com
Associate and contact in the United States for DONATIONS (Please make checks payable to NANCY FOERTSCH)
A set of 12 notecards made by the children, with envelopes, can be purchased through Nancy also. Email her for price information which includes shipping.

HARPER JONES riverhomeport@yahoo.com
Library Associate

HELEN MCNAMARA h.manamara@sbcglobal.net
Library Associate mcnamara_helen@hotmail.com

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