Carol Marten (June 2004)

Jane:

Please excuse the ordinary paper upon which this letter is written. Unfortunately, computers and the electric gadgets that were part of our former life do not occupy space in our lifestyle in “el Campo de Nicaragua.” Fortunately, however, books have continued to be accessible and reading is a daily diversion from the workday as a result of your special project in San Juan del Sur biblioteca movil. Most importantly, because of the biblioteca movil, a family of nine children, our neighbors, now have ready access to books for the first time. It is for this reason that I have taken the liberty of writing to you in support of the project and to thank you, the staff, and the volunteers responsible.

Families in the country-side where we live, while only 12 kilometers south of San Juan del Sur, seldom venture into town. The bus fare alone demands that they acquire and purchase most supplies locally from the neighborhood properties and vendors who sell products from their trucks who travel the Ostional Road on a regular basis. There is little opportunity for work here, many families are large in number, and as a consequence, they are quite poor. The local school requires teachers and as a result the average school day is both limited in hours and seems to adhere to a sporadic schedule. Books, access to them, and the opportunity to read are not commonplace.

Initially, I took one of the children with the mother to the Biblioteca Movil. My memories of that first visit to the Biblioteca Movil will forever be remembered by the awe and wonder on the expression of my 9-year old neighbor. I inquired, “do you like books?” there was little need for a response the sparkle in his eyes and smile spoke volumes.

Weekly, my husband or I visit the library and borrow books for the family. Every Thursday morning the children return the books to us wrapped in plastic bags and in perfect condition. Most recently, they are now requesting specific types of books ie. information about Nicaragua, an atlas of the world, adventure stories. If the books are returned to the library late, it is solely because of the weather and our infrequent trips to San Juan del Sur. However, I not venture into town weekly because the books are so important to the children (and their parents).

Jane, whatever it takes to keep the Biblioteca Movil open and expanding, please count on our support. We have witnessed parents removing newspapers from the garbage so their children could practice the skill of reading. We delight in their enthusiasm for the weekly delivery of books. We too look forward to reading from the selections available. The enquiring mind of a child is a gift requiring nourishment and support. There are many projects and good ventures in Nicaragua, but the Biblioteca Movil is “número uno”. Thank you and keep up your important endeavors.

Sincerely,

Carol (Carolina) Marten
Playa el Yankee
Nicaragua

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