Colombian rubbish guy builds library from discarded books


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BOGOTA: Emptying the packing containers of Colombia’s capital, Jose Alberto Gutierrez at some point discovered a duplicate of the vintage novel “Anna Karenina,” and saved it.

That used to be 20 years in the past — and the rubbish guy persevered to assemble Bogota’s discarded books, accumulating 25,000 in a unfastened library, swelled through donations.

“I spotted that individuals have been throwing books away within the garbage. I began to rescue them,” Gutierrez, a stocky, grey-haired guy of 54, instructed AFP.

He by no means were given previous number one college as a scholar, however is now dubbed “The Lord of the Books,” in call for from colleges around the nation.

Epic endeavor

That first replica of Tolstoy used to be quickly joined through “The Little Prince,” “Sophie’s Global,” “The Iliad” and quite a lot of novels through Colombian grasp Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Gutierrez’s neighbors began coming spherical to borrow books to assist their kids with schoolwork.

“There used to be a loss of them in our community, so we began to assist.”

Now a complete ground of his area, on a hill within the operating magnificence Nueva Gloria district of the capital, is taken up through stacks of books.

Together with spouse Luz Mery Gutierrez and their 3 kids, Gutierrez opened it as a unfastened library in 2000.

Volunteers joined in, phrase unfold, and the rubbish guy discovered himself invited to world ebook festivals in Santiago, Monterrey in addition to within the capital.

Spreading the phrases

The place as soon as he equipped the library through rescuing books from the road, now maximum his inventory comes from donations. Excluding donations, Gutierrez covers any longer bills from his personal pocket.




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“We have now a blessed curse upon us,” he stated. “The extra books we give away, the extra come to us.”

The gathering were given so large that they needed to halt the kids’s studying periods they held in the home, for loss of house.

As a substitute they began touring across the nation to ship unfastened books to loads of deficient and far off districts.

Books for peacetime

Gutierrez says his mom gave him a love of literature through studying cartoons to him within the nation shack the place he grew up.

“It used to be she who enlightened me,” he says.

Having no longer completed college as a boy, he’s now, neatly into heart age, finding out for his college leaver’s examination.

Some of the folks around the huge jungle country who’ve contacted him to invite for books used to be a fighter within the FARC leftist rebellion team.

Its 7,000 participants are accumulated in demobilization zones to disarm beneath a peace accord signed ultimate yr with the federal government.

The FARC member requested Gutierrez to ship books for the combatants. They’ll have to be informed and educate for brand new jobs when they lay down their guns and make the transition to civil lifestyles.

“Books remodeled me, so I feel books are an emblem of hope for the ones puts,” Gutierrez stated. “They’re an emblem of peace.”

The put up Colombian rubbish guy builds library from discarded books seemed first on ARYNEWS.

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