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Sixth Annual Report, Summer 2007

La Biblioteca de San Agustinillo

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San Agustinillo, Oaxaca
Mazunte, Oaxaca
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Each year brings new activities, new faces, and new goals to the library. Fortunately, our’old’ friends remain to support the efforts and dreams that challenge us. We believe our greatest achievement still is the gift of books to the community of San Agustinillo, and we are proud to be able to provide books to whomever passes our way. This includes Spanish speaking children and adults as well as foreigners that visit the area, the majority of these being English, French, German and Italian speakers. This year our effort was supported by a donation of 300 children’s books from FUNDACION TELEVISA. The books are educational as well as entertaining on a wide range of pertinent topics. Our friends at TELEVISA also have promised us a gift of computers. (The connection to Televisa is ‘gracias a’ Yolanda Quintana of San Agustinillo and Adriana Labertini of Mexico City.) The library ‘regulars’ are at the top of their classes. This year every child who had the highest grades in his class was one of our ‘library kids’. Jocelyn, Guadalupe, Ana Vigh, Jennifer, Tania, and Chali. Congrats to all of them!! We are so proud.

Our secondary goal, to provide a ‘cultural center’ to the community, continues to be a challenge and more important to us each year. For this idea we are dependent on the talents of others, both inside and outside the community. We are fortunate to have many ‘helpers’. A sample of this year’s cultural activities included:

  1. Traditional Mexican Celebrations for Christmas, Three Kings’ Day and Candelaria. These were led by Conchita Lozano of Mazunte. We decorated the library, with the help of Nora and Paulina, at XMAS with hand-made ornaments (by the children, of course) and Javier made and placed the ‘old man’ in front of the library . On 3 KINGS DAY, Conchita and Carolina made a ‘rosca’ (traditional coffee cake). Inside were placed several little plastic dolls. The children who found a doll in their piece of cake had to bring tamales or some other tasty treat to the celebration which the library held on FEBRUARY 2, DIA DE CANDELARIA. (Carole put 15 dolls in the rosca instead of the usual one or two!)
  2. Our Belgian friend, Britt, read stories to the little children every Saturday, followed by a drawing session depicting the stories read that day.
  3. Barbara Smith once again dedicated part of her vacation to ENGLISH CLASSES at the library.
  4. Still continuing are art classes, given by artist and filmmaker Giacomino from Mazunte. These are held every Saturday at noon and the seven loyal students are learning technique, color, etc.
  5. Two young women from SELVA NEGRA, Circe and Carla, were at the TURTLE MUSEUM for a month painting with the children. They dedicated two days to the library for those children who couldn’t get over to the museum. We had over 20 participants each day!
  6. Yolanda continues to repair all of our damaged books. She saves many of your favorites!
  7. The ceremony for our SECOND PLACE WINNER IN EL NINO Y LA MAR 2006 finally took place March 16 in Oaxaca City. It had been delayed due to the problem months in that beautiful colonial city earlier. Our winner, Juquila Isabel Velasquez Ramos, was accompanied by her parents, Reina and Virgilio, her godmother from Oaxaca City, and Carolina from the Library. A beautiful ceremony in the CASA DE CULTURA IN OAXACA CITY along with many gifts and awards was enjoyed by all.
  8. We are looking forward to a return of the AZTEC DANCERS that provided the entire community with an educational and entertaining evening. They have asked to come back because they were so pleased with the positive reaction from San Agustinillo. There was a lively question-and-answer session after the presentation. The children presented the dancers with a thank-you diploma (reconocimiento). They were obviously impressed with our enthusiasm. Thanks to Conchita for arranging the event, making the invitations, and diploma. The lead dancer is a doctor from Mexico City and a friend of Conchita. Miguel Angel from our community is now active with this group.

Recently a young couple, Robin and Neela from California, visited the library. Robin works for FOUNDATION AHIMSA, which awards grants for musical instruments and instruction worldwide. Since our children do not have the opportunity to learn about music in our community and schools, he suggested that we apply for a grant. So, as this is written, Carolina with the help of several active citizens, is searching for a music teacher, and she will then proceed to apply for the grant for instruments and a salary for the teacher. This is an exciting new adventure for the library.

Tourism was down in Oaxaca this past season, 2006 to 2007. Most of the ‘regulars’ returned to San Agustinillo, feeling secure at their ‘second home.’ But there was a definite decrease in tourism, which has affected everyone. This year the donations to the library were ‘down’ also. We hope that this is a temporary situation, because we hope to not only continue the present projects, but also to add new workshops and events to the library repertoire. In all cases, the teachers and leaders of the projects donate their time, but the library provides the materials, as well as the electricity and maintenance of the area.

Many of you ask ‘what do you need?’ At the present time, the library needs financial support. The humidity of the summer has wreaked havoc on the computers, which translates into money for repairs. The ink for the printer is very expensive, as is the electric bill. So, anything you can donate will help us.

Thank you for helping us grow! Donations can be made now by PAYPAL, as well as a check made out to Nancy or cash (U.S. dollars or pesos) to Carolina.

Contributions by Paypal should be sent to LaBiblioteca@sbcglobal.net

We look forward to seeing all of you this year.



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