My Project Leyendo ventured out on it’s own in November 2018 to build a library in the Xaman Ha elementary school in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There was bright yellow room with east facing windows, ceiling fans and light fixtures but no shelving and no books. I made a presentation to Seaside Rotary in Playa, asking for funds to make this library possible and they came through with a significant donation with which I purchased books from bookstores in Cancun and Playa and online from Amazon.com.mx. They also helped with two tables, four benches and green paint for the wooden shelves.
With the help of school parents and Leyendo supporters we assembled sturdy plastic shelving units and painted wooden planks to span the distance between these. The walls needed help so everyone chipped in to paint several “Reading Trees” adorned with alphabet letters and books.
A few Rotarians showed up to help classify the books and get them in place on the awaiting shelves. An official opening ceremony took place with just a few speeches. And then the children poured into the library.
We were joined by Alejandra Barradas, a local mural painter, who will help with a huge mural at another library in January. She added a monkey to one of the reading trees and painted the official name on the front of the library.
Ricky Florack, one of my yoga teachers and a professional photographer, joined us for the opening and captured the joy on the kid’s faces. My favorite photos of hers is this one of a little girl leaving the library having been told the time was up.