I’m writing this post from 35,000 feet in the air on my way from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Cancun, Mexico. As I squeeze into the middle-row seat on a 6-hour flight between 2 layovers and an overnight bus ride, nothing can push me off the feeling I have at this moment.
The feeling is of complete warmth. One that rushes through your body when something you’ve been working so hard for finally comes to fruition. It’s like that sensation you get on a Friday afternoon when the sun hits your face as you leave the office. This is the feeling I crave and one that constantly drives me.
Last Saturday, the BiblioWorks staff, myself and nine other volunteers put on the first ever book fair in Sucre, Bolivia and it went off without a hitch. We had 15 educational institutions participating, 11 corporate sponsors and hundreds of children and adults who came to enjoy a beautiful day of literature and learning.
It was the culmination of three months worth of planning and organizing that saw both setbacks and breakthroughs. We jumped through hoops to get the City’s approval, worked relentlessly to convince local colleges and universities to get involved and were able spread the word through every major TV and Radio station across Sucre.
We had 4 major goals coming into the event…
- To build and fortify relationships with city officials, libraries, schools and other institutions for future project collaboration.
- Spread the word about what BiblioWorks does for the community and region to increase financial and resource support.
- Most importantly, to organize an event that would show both children and adults the importance of literature, learning and to spark their curiosity in new subjects.
- Also, to build a foundation for future literacy projects and events in Sucre and across Bolivia.
In the end, I sit here with a smile from ear to ear because I can say without reservation, that the first ever Sucre book fair (or Literacy festival as it was properly called), was a complete success.
Local high schools started arrived at 8:30am, even as some booths were still setting up, and the last group of kids didn’t leave until 4:15pm.
Parents brought their children and they were both just as occupied with all the activities. The city band energized the crowd while traditional dancers wooed the audience and a puppeteer made the kids laugh. We gave away tons of prizes from books to balloons and each participating booth had their own special message about literacy to offer.
It was awesome!
Thank you again for everyone who got involved in helping to make this a very special day for the city of Sucre, the BiblioWorks organization and everyone involved.
I think the best way to share this incredible feeling I have at this moment is through the faces and images of the event that I’ve been admiring since we reached cruising altitude…