Thursday, 8 March 2018

Walking with 'That light from deep inside'

In the last General Assembly of our Network of Rural Libraries, many of the coordinators - in the Exchange Party that always takes place in each meeting - requested more copies of the book "That light from deep inside" (Esa luz de más adentro), by our brother Alfredo Mires Ortiz .

At this point, many families in our communities will have carried out reading circles in their sectors and areas; others have read it in their homes, around the stove; in the farm, at some time of rest or perhaps even the children have already given their first glimpses and have entered the magical force that the lyrics of this reading symphony and monumental piece that compiles the prologues of the Peasant Encyclopedia has.

We know that this book has the power to open fruitful and affectionate roads for the reader. On the one hand, it has texts with which we can think about reading, books and the oral tradition; or we can delve deeper about the hegemonic, industrial and consumerist culture; or we can work once again the farm of the Rural Libraries, of the ancestral memory and the traditions of our campesinos; of the Andean and the farmer; of the wisdom and dignity of our people; of the strength of being together. This book surely achieves what Alfredo himself says: "to drive away the darkness" and "fertilize today to harvest tomorrow."

More about this book:

- On 10th July, 2015, the Tinku launched this and other books by the author.

- Teachers from the National University of Cajamarca have been using this book as material for reading, analysis and reflection.

- Since 2016, the renowned magazine El Gurrión, directed by Mariano Coronas, in Spain, began to publish the texts of the book one by one.

In Chuco: new library

Manuel Sánchez Abanto, community member and library coordinator of the Chuco sector, in the province of San Marcos, announced that he will open another rural library in the educational institution of El Áchuque.

This news enthuses and encourages us to continue our effort to read, narrate and rescue the cultural tradition of Cajamarca. And also because it denotes the growing coordination with teachers who assume the commendable and revealing path of community and critical reading.

Thanks to Manuel and the community of Chuco!

Climate and books

The Training and Intervention Group for Sustainable Development - GRUFIDES, recently published the book "Andean Techniques and Strategies for Adaptation to Climate Change - Training and Implementation Manual", excellent material worked by Deniss Malpica Alfaro and William Valera Romero.

From this publication we have received, as a donation, an abundant amount that will be destined to increase the bibliographic material in our libraries.

In the context of climate change that our land suffers, we recognize the efforts of this sister organization, for contributing to our way of reading and addressing the urgent need to bring more books to the communities of Cajamarca.

Thursday, 22 February 2018


This house, our house,
It has everything here:
wood, stone, water, earth
and in minga I built it.

Alfredo Mires Ortiz, "Coplita of the coplares: The singing of the songs in campesino couplets"

The site of the Network of Rural Libraries of Cajamarca was and continues to be built in minga, in collective and voluntary work, with the effort and dedication of many of our fellow librarians and coordinators.

This construction takes a long time and never ends because it grows as our family grows too.

For the latest advances we have had the support of Esperanza TM, from Belgium, a fraternal organization formed by our long-term friends. Thus we can continue to build and rebuild spaces to house us in the Network's decision-making and training meetings.

This makes the house not only a house: fifteen hundred years ago, San Isidoro de Sevilla said that house was a room of sticks and branches to get together and protect oneself from the cold.

This house of ours does not stop gathering, it does not stop sheltering and protecting us.

Stories that cure

In November, during the launch of the series "... and other stories", from our Campesino Library Collection, Ximena and Jairo Quispe Misahuamán, two children from Cajamarca, were keen to read us stories that they had chosen and then, very enthusiastically, participated in the minga we organized to prepare the books that would go out to the libraries in the communities.

A few weeks ago, Jairo had to be hospitalized for a complication in the respiratory tract: the first thing he asked when visited was to be read stories. And that helped revive him …

While Ximena was awaiting the release of her little brother, she took care of her younger cousins and also read them stories.

Our elders were not wrong to forge us recounting: the stories not only endure, deepen and procure, but cure, embrave, conjure, receite and venture.

Blessed earth

We are not going to aspire in great what we do not do also in small. That is why we take great care of the garden and vegetable patch of our communal house.

Perhaps the dear earth knows this and rejoices: that's why the flowers colour and the fruit seeds, the aromas expand and the herbs rise, the birds nest and the bees buzz ...

Here go medlars, lucuma, aubergines, tomatoes and not to mention the cedron, parsley, lemon balm, rosemary, huacatay and all these sister plants that have sprung up on their own or have grown accustomed to this corner of the community, of the family.

And we are already harvesting the first avocados, which are not for export because they do matter.

Books for our Network

A few weeks ago, we received, from Lima, a donation of books that were collected by Vanesa Becerra who, several years ago, participated as a volunteer in our Network.

We are very grateful for gestures like this, given the enormous value of books in the inexhaustible task of learning and unlearning, of continuing to grow and walk.

These books are already being selected and prepared to begin their journey in the saddlebags of our library coordinators.