The Biblioburro

In a ritual repeated nearly every weekend for the past decade here in Colombia’s war-weary Caribbean hinterlands, Luis Soriano gathered his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, in front of his home on a recent Saturday afternoon.

(…)At stops along the way, children still await the teacher in groups, to hear him read from the books he brings before they can borrow them.

(…)Such victories keep Soriano going, despite the challenges that come with running the Biblioburro.

(…)Two years ago, Soriano said, bandits surprised him at a river crossing, found that he carried almost no money, and tied him to a tree. They stole one item from his book pouch: “Brida,” the story of an Irish girl and her search for knowledge, by the Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho.

“For some reason, Paulo Coelho is at the top of everyone’s list of favorites,” said Soriano, hiding a grin under the shade of his sombrero vueltiao, the elaborately woven cowboy hat popular in Colombia’s interior.

To read the full article please click here