Posts Tagged ‘Guatemala’

Vamos Super Chivos! One of the highlights of the recent Librarians Without Borders service trip to Guatemala was experiencing the madness that surrounds professional futbol. After the working day was done, we had the opportunity to attend a semi-final playoff game, featuring the Xelaju Super Chivos (Super Goats). The Super Chivos play in the Liga Nacional, Guatemala’s top footballing division and were on the brink of a major upset

The atmosphere was absolutely electric.  Here are the highlights:

  • Every conceivable sort of vendor had arrived and set up camp beneath the bleachers. This had the effect of forming a weird, underground sea of humanity, all barking and clawing their way to the merchandise of their choice. The smell of roasted peanuts and barbecued pork  mixed with scents of the knock-off cologne being hawked to the eager crowd.
  • For whatever reason, beer is sold only in 1 litre sizes.  That’s a lot of liquid for one person to hold over the course of a 90 minute match.  Compounded by the fact that there were only two bathrooms for a 5000 person crowd, the game was as much a workout for the fans as it was for the players.
  • The intensity of the crowd was phenomenal.  Whether it involved songs, dances or human waves, the entire crowd acted as one massive, screaming organism. There were more than a few ribald chants questioning the dubious ancestry of opposing players. After the first home team goal, the air was filled with so much confetti it blocked out the sky.

After a hard fought match, Club Xelaju MC downed rivals Club Marquense to advance to the quarter final round. Sharing this victory with an ecstatic hometown crowd gave us a unique insight into Guatemalan life we would otherwise never have experienced.

ImageLibrarians without Borders has received a generous donation from one of the Ottawa Public Library‘s (OPL) Teen Advisory Groups (TAG). Based out of OPL’s Centennial branch, this group of socially conscious teens raised $175 to help support the literacy needs of students a half a world away.

Being heavy users and supporters of the Library, TAG members realised how big a hole their own lives would have if they did not have a library. They wanted to help other teens experience their love of books and the sense of community a library brings. On November 19th/2011, Centennial TAG held a two hour bake sale with contributions from TAG members, Centennial staff, and generous Centennial branch customers. In that short period of time, their community supported TAG’s efforts by purchasing $175 worth of cookies, tarts, and cupcakes! OPL’s customers, being huge supporters of the Library, were eager to chip in.

The donation will be put towards the Asturias Librarian Stipend Fund.  The financial resources we gather will help bring a librarian to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy Library in Xela, Guatemala. The presence of a full-time librarian will help the Academy supply the quality books and programming students need in order to learn.

On behalf of LWB and the Asturias Academy, thanks to the Centennial branch teens for reaching out! Special thanks to Andrea Gowing, the OPL staff member who facilitates the group.

Event in Ottawa – Librarians Without Borders: International Service Learning in Guatemala

Thursday, March 24, 2011, 5:30 pm

Ottawa Public Library

Rideau Branch, 377 Rideau

In a few short months, myself, along with 25 other progressively minded librarians will be travelling to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Xela, Guatemala.  The group is primarily made up of library students from McGill University, University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario and Dalhousie University, but several member of the Librarians Without Borders Executive Committee will be tagging along.

The Asturias Academy is a one-of-a-kind institution, catering to the literacy and educational needs of rural Guatemalans that may not otherwise have access to such services.  Their teaching philosophy is based on the writings of Paulo Friere, primarily his somewhat revolutionary text Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  Instead of being treated as vessels to be filled with knowledge, students are seen as co-creators of knowledge.

If anyone happens to be in the Ottawa area March 24th, I urge you to drop by and hear a pair of wonderful speakers espouse the merits of international service learning and regale you with their experiences of previous trips to the Academy.  The text below comes courtesy of the Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Services website:

Librarians Without Borders (LWB) is a non-profit organization that strives to improve access to information resources by forming partnerships with community organizations in developing regions. In this talk, Carolyn Doi and Robyn Maler will speak about the student-led collaboration between Librarians Without Borders and the Asturias Academy Library, a private, non-profit, K – 12 school in Guatemala that aims to create informed, critically-thinking, and socially conscious citizens through a unique model of education.

Speakers:

Carolyn Doi received her MLIS from McGill University in 2010 and is a Music Liaison Librarian at the same institution. She has been active in Librarians Without Borders (LWB) since 2008, and helped to co-organize a service learning trip for eleven LWB student members in 2010 to Guatemala to do fieldwork with the Asturias Academy Library. She is currently Asturias Library Project Manager.

Robyn Maler is the Chair of Librarians Without Borders McGill student committee and is currently finishing the MLIS program at McGill University. A participant in the April 2010 trip to Asturias, Robyn is excited to continue LWB’s hard work as this year’s Project Lead.”

Please register using the link below:

http://clagov.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/lwb-in-guatemala/

Good news everybody!

I’ve been invited by the Librarians Without Borders (LWB) executive to speak at an upcoming event in Ottawa.  Since its inception in 2005, the LWB has worked to increase fair and equitable access to information, regardless of geography, politics or religion.  Both the LWB executive and its student groups have forged relationships with community organizations and individuals interested in promoting literacy in developing regions.

The event will showcase the accomplishments of our student chapters from the University of Western Ontario, the University of Toronto and McGill University.  Together, we’ve sent students to Guatemala and Costa Rica, hosted guests from Tanzania and raised funds for worthy local causes.  I urge anyone interested in learning more about information access in developing countries to come out and share our experiences.

Below is the official invite from the LWB website:

Event in Ottawa: Putting Information in the Hands of the World

Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Over the last year, Librarians Without Borders‘ Student Committees have been  involved in a number of local and international information access projects. LWB has undertaken these projects in order to improve access to information for the people in these communities. Specifically, LWB students have been engaged in a number of projects to build libraries in Canada, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

To celebrate the accomplishments of our students,  Librarians Without Borders is pleased to partner with   CLA-CASLIS to offer an evening program in Ottawa, where representatives of various student committees will be talking about their work.

Please join us! Come learn about their amazing projects and hear how MLIS students are helping to put information in the hands of the world!

Speakers:

LWB-McGill Committee: Valli Fraser-Celin and Carolyn Doi

LWB-University of Toronto Committee: Mark Gelsomino

LWB-University of Western Ontario Committee: Erin Walker, Aubrey Kirkpatrick, and Kris Meen


When: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Ottawa Public Library Auditorium (120 Metcalfe St)
Admission: By donation (suggested amount: $5 – $10).

Donors will have the chance to win a copy of Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson!

All proceeds from this event will go to Librarians Without Borders
Register at <http://tinyurl.com/lwb-2010>
For more information, contact exec@lwb-online.org or caslis.govlib@gmail.com

Further Reading:

Check out these links to find out what our student groups have been up to and to learn more about the groups and individuals we’ve partnered with.

The event is being graciously hosted by the Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Systems (CASLIS).

Here’s the Librarians Without Borders main site.

Paul Francescutti, a television producer/director, has produced Remote Access, a documentary chronicling his travels to remote libraries in Kenya and Peru.

One of the several worthy causes we’ve raised money for.  The Children’s Book Bank operates out of the ethnically diverse Toronto neighborhood of Parkdale and supplies books, literacy support and programming to children in need.

Read about the LWB McGill chapter’s trip to Guatemala…

…and the LWB Western chapter’s trip to Costa Rica!

Many thanks to Jessica, who recommended me to the people organizing the event.  Check out her library blog here: