Thursday, 17 May 2018

Oscar Garay: presence and mourning

We lack the words to give this news of mourning.

Last Sunday, the 6th, in the afternoon, while helping in a communal task, our dear brother Oscar Raúl Garay Tongo suffered an accident that caused his death.

Oscar, a community member from Jerez, joined our Network in the mid-80s. And in the early 2000s, he was approved by the Community Assembly as our General Coordinator, a position he held with frank devotion for two years.

When we are a community, joy is a blessing that is cultivated and thrives ... but how the absence of a brother or sister hurts us. Even more if he is like Oscar, a 'human man' who will never stop being one.

The biggest tribute is to keep walking. We are on this path that you helped to clear and make more pleasant, Oscar, brother.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Launch of "The right to essence"

This Friday, 4th May, at 7 pm, we will be launching our most recent publication: 
"The right to essence: children, rights, community and the twisted." 

The ceremony will be held at the headquarters of our Network: Avenida Perú Nº 416.
We are all invited: we welcome your punctual presence!

Consuelo and Luza

During our Assembly in April, we received the pleasant visit of Consuelo Gaitán, Director of the National Library of Colombia, and Luz Adriana Martínez, Leader of the Technical Assistance area of ​​the National Network of Public Libraries of Colombia.

The National Library of Colombia, besides preserving and cataloging the bibliographic and documentary collection of the country, is an information centre in which you can find diverse and abundant historical, cultural, artistic, religious, political and social documents of Colombia. Currently, the National Library is carrying out an inventory of its documents in different media for its digitalization process that guarantees its permanence, conservation and greater diffusion.

The National Network of Public Libraries is responsible for coordinating the enormous processes of training, articulation and strengthening of public libraries in Colombia.

This visit of Consuelo and Luz Adriana had been gestating for so long, encouraged as they were to share the effort to build, with the reading of the world and of books, a more honourable life, with full rights to the dreams of peace and community joy.

Back in Colombia, Consuelo sent us some of her impressions:
"I still hear the voices of the peasants speaking with tenderness of their farms ... evoking their elders with the devotion of those who know themselves protected by them or laughing mischievously of the tricks and mysteries that permeate their daily life. What a great wealth there is behind that almost mystical relationship with nature! I would like to express my deep gratitude for having had the fortune to live this wonderful commotion."

We also send our sincere and affectionate greetings, from Cajamarca to Bogotá, for this precious time shared.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

The Rural Library of ISP of Jaén

On 12th April of this year, the Social Sciences Department - V Semester of the ISP "Víctor A. Belaunde" of Jaén, with initiative and enthusiasm, prepared with new copies and posters the Rural Library that has been operating since the last quarter of the past year.

It is known to all that our Library is part of the Network of Rural Libraries of Cajamarca, which has made it possible for us to avail of its bibliographic collection, such as the copies of the Peasant Encyclopedia and various publications. This access to the books of the network has multiplied because of the book exchange system, and from the recent Encounter and Assembly. Books included literary works, dictionaries and other texts.

The aim is to encourage the critical and voluntary reading of students and teachers to inform themselves and to train as people, as well as to disseminate stories of rural culture in order to recognize, rescue, value and put into practice the knowledge, values ​​and positive identities.

The students who frequent the library are entering Social Sciences – First Semester, who arrive with much desire, choose their book and register. For their part, the 7 students of Fifth Semester started the first Reading Circle, on 17th April, to discuss the book "Esa luz de más adentro" by maestro Alfredo Mires Ortiz.

Prof. Sara Moreno Alberca


The first weekend of April more than fifty community members of the Network of Rural Libraries met to celebrate the first Assembly of this year. Many of them have attended these meetings continuously for more than twenty years. They come from far away, carrying their books and their contribution to the common pot. The re-encounter each time is a joy.

In this assembly there were also many new faces. The youngest librarian, Maicol Burga, arrived after two days of travel; walking from the community of Yunchaco, in the province of Cutervo. Maicol participated with great emphasis and conviction, transmitting to everyone the importance of reading and learning from our elders.

We also welcomed Laura Quiliche, student and head of the Open Library of the Superior Pedagogical Institute "Víctor Andrés Belaunde", Jaén. In this library one can read there, in the open air or take the books home, but the contact with the book is real and experiential, not restricted to the physical space of the library. Laura is an animated young woman who convinces with her effort and fresh and innovative spirit: we are very grateful for her presence among us.

From the Superior Pedagogical Institute of Jaén was also teacher Sara Moreno. We really appreciates your presence and your important and precise interventions.

From the I.E. "Sacred Heart" of Jaén were also our dear friends Cleofé Guzmán, Elizabeth Olano and Polinéstor Huamán, who have been carrying out intense rescue work with the Peasant Encyclopedia Project.

From Colombia we counted with the presence of Nathalia Quintero Castro who is in charge of the Technical Secretariat of the Network and took great pains in this assembly to satisfy the concerns and needs of each librarian and coordinator.

Also there were Consuelo Gaitán, Director of the National Library of Colombia, and Luz Adriana Martínez, Leader of the Technical Assistance area of ​​the National Network of Public Libraries of Colombia. Their integration, openness and willingness to share were transcendental for this assembly.

The presence of some children of librarians and veteran coordinators seems to us very important because in most cases it is the family members who, from a young age, attend to the readers in the libraries during the absence of the librarians. Welcome Lennon, Magaly and Jorge to this assembly!

Manuela Vásquez and Ricardo Delgado are two teachers who, since last year, have been members of the Network family, from their centers in Bambamarca and Chota. Their presence, interest and work renew the spirit.

Thank you all for joining us on this journey.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Willing to share

When the librarians and coordinators of the Network of Rural Libraries arrive for the General Assembly, it is all celebration, joy and laughter. This 6th, 7th and 8th of April we celebrated one of these meetings full of friendship, openness, trust and solidarity: we are family.

In the book El duende del laberinto, by Alfredo Mires, published by the Network in 2016, is this story:


God told the bread:
- Multiply!
And the bread answered him:
- First multiply the flour.
God multiplied the flour.
- Now multiply yeast, said the bread. God multiplied the yeast.
- Now multiply the man willing to share me -finished the bread.
God began to cry.

Here, in our assemblies, God doesn't have to cry. Here we share what each one brings for the common pot. But we also share the news of each library, the achievements and congratulations of the readers and the concerns and challenges of the librarians and coordinators. We are united by the appreciation for others and a spirit of support and protection invades the environment.

Once, during an assembly dinner, we observed two of our coordinators talking: one had a cup of coffee and the other was dipping his bread in the other's coffee. Normal, because everything belongs to everyone.

Although one can be surprised or laugh at such familiarity, that is the spirit of sharing in our meetings. Familiarity is lived and affection is felt. And that is worth more than a "logical framework" or a "leadership training".

We are happy to be the way we are.

Libraries and schools

When the Network of Rural Libraries began to rescue the wisdom of the Andean communities, back in the 1980s, many criticized us, especially because we were using the language of our own people in our texts.

- How is it possible! Peasants who dare to produce books? They said.

They were mostly teachers who did not want our books in schools because "in these texts there are many barbarisms"; So they said, referring to the way we talk about the Cajamarcan countryside.

Over the years - and with a lot of patience - this situation has changed. Nowadays, many teachers and directors of educational institutions are the ones who are interested in this task of ours. Or the students themselves, when they have to complete their homework.

- It is imperative to permeate education and schools - Alfredo Mires, our Executive Advisor, often says. However, there is still a long way to go.

Several of our coordinators are teachers. We have agreements with schools in the countryside and there, in the same educational institutions, rural libraries. We are coordinating our work with Higher Pedagogical Institutes and we even have requests for a Reading Plan that is truly in accordance with the life of the communities ...

They are huge advances and, as a network, we are happy with these challenges. But we know that the road is arduous and that we are few. Fortunately, we do not have the inclination to be discouraged.