A man and two donkeys: Rural Bookmobile in Action

In a ritual repeated nearly every weekend for the past decade, Luis Soriano gathered his two donkeys in front of his home (in Colombia).  He strapped pouches with the word "Biblioburro" painted in blue letters to the donkey's backs and loaded them with an eclectic cargo of books destined for people living in the small villages beyond. "I started out with 70 books, and now I have a collection of more than 4,800," said Mr. Soriano, 36, a primary school teacher who lives in a small house with his family, with books piled to the ceilings. "This began as a necessity; then it became an obligation; and after that a custom," he explained. "Now, it is an institution: one man and two donkeys." He created it out of the simple belief that the act of taking books to people who do not have them can somehow improve this impoverished region, and perhaps Columbia.

Excerpts from an article by Simon Romero, published in the New York Times, 19 October 2008

Letter 73 - 2010