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A new library for Zaachila, Oaxaca. A new library for Zaachila, Oaxaca.

With 10,000 plastic bottles, citizens build a green library in Oaxaca

The facility will offer 300 books for children and youths when it opens

With construction materials that included 10,000 plastic bottles and 2,000 cardboard cartons, residents of a municipality near Oaxaca city have helped build a new public library.

Residents of Zaachila collaborated with the organization Solidaridad Internacional Kanda (Sikanda), the community center in the Vicente Guerrero neighborhood and the Armonía music school to build the library, located on the east side of the municipality near a large dump.

The recycled materials for the construction of the so-called “green library” were provided by people who make a living from collecting garbage.

The building, which is designed to be resistant to both climate change and earthquakes, is on the verge of completion, after which it will be furnished and filled with purchased and donated books.

The public facility is intended to be a safe space where local children and adolescents can develop a love for reading, although residents of all ages will be welcomed.

The library is expected to have a collection of at least 300 books when it opens to the public in the near future, the newspaper El Universal reported.

It will be a welcome addition to the local community, located in a state where just over three-quarters of residents didn’t read a book in the past year and many schools don’t have libraries, according to Sikanda.

The Oaxaca-based organization, which also collaborates on green library projects at schools, collected data that shows that Oaxaca residents aged 15 and over only have 6.9 years of formal education on average whereas the national average is 8.6 years.

It believes that by cultivating a love of reading and learning at a young age, children are likely to stay in school longer.

Construction of the Zaachila library began last month as part of a project called “Una biblioteca para Navidad,” or “A library for Christmas.”

Anyone interested in donating to Sikanda, which has been collaborating on a range of projects in Oaxaca communities since 2009, can do so via the organization’s website.

With reports from El Universal 

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