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Library founder Vargas. Library founder Vargas.

Through the efforts of a UNAM student, a Oaxaca community has a library

A teaching student was able to collect over 4,000 books for a library in the Sierra Mixe

A library has been born in a mountain village in Oaxaca thanks to the efforts of a teaching student at the National Autonomous University of México who wanted to give something back to her community.

Adriana Kupijy Vargas Huitrón decided to use the skills she learned studying to open a library in the community of Tejas in the municipality of Santa María Tlahuiloltepec, the Mixe community where her father grew up.

She decided to make the effort after reflecting on what she was learning in her university studies.

“I was in crisis, and I was very frustrated,” she told UNAM Global. “I thought, why am I even studying, if I’m not creating anything for my community?”

So Vargas posted on Facebook requesting donations of books. Her initial goal was to collect 500, but she received over 4,000 donations, including encyclopedias, novels, textbooks and books of poetry.

Vargas collected donations in Mexico City, while her sister did the same in Oaxaca city.

“At first we had problems finding a space but we resolved that with a community building,” Vargas said. “The community was very interested, they built the furniture, cleaned and sorted the books, and they keep the space clean.”

She hopes the library will become a space for the community to have events like classes, film projections and readings for children.

Vargas’ efforts have been noted by another community nearby. When citizens of Las Flores saw the Tejas library they decided they wanted one too.

Vargas credits her UNAM education for the motivation to create the library.

“I had access to UNAM, to all this knowledge, these readings, and above all, the libraries,” she said. “I didn’t want that to be just my privilege, I wanted it to be a right for many people.”

Source: UNAM Global (sp)

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