Over 30 years ago, Alfredo Mires travelled through the mountains surrounding Cajamarca, in northern Peru, documenting and recording the stories and wisdom of the country’s rural Indigenous inhabitants, the campesinos. With funding from Heart-Links he published the collection in a series of books that have since served as a tool for both literacy training and cultural revival.
His efforts gave rise to a network of over 500 “libraries” throughout the mountains. These libraries are the homes individuals who are able to read and who will house the reading materials and take leadership in establishing reading circles for young and old to promote literacy, education and pride in the campesino culture.
Twice a year, gatherings are held in Cajamarca where the librarians can exchange books, share information and strategize on issues affecting their communities. Mining and the environmental and social violence that it brings is one of the major challenges facing these communities.
Publications continue to be the cornerstone of the Rural Libraries Network’s work in this region.
Projects supported by Heart-Links Lazos de Corazón: