We have the right to thrive 

unmarred by violence and abuse

Anouk Henry, a Swiss volunteer who has just spent four months in our foundation with her family, is a journalist.

In the framework of our project on new masculinities, as part of the work for gender equality and the fight against gender-based violence, Gregory Jaquet, Swiss volunteer and UNWomen expert on gender issues and public policies, has been creating an original program for the foundation for the past three months.

About A Mano Manaba 

The devastation left by the 7.8-point earthquake on April 16, 2016, sowed chaos and sadness on the Ecuadorian coast. We, along with all the neighbors of the small fishing village of Don Juan, Jama canton, Manabi, also lost our house.

In the middle of the disaster, when there was no electricity, water or schools; When families sought refuge in tents and shacks, the idea of ​​"playing the library" came up. We load our pet, the burrito "Faustino Domingo Sarmiento", with colorful books, notebooks, and crayons and call the girls and boys to the proclamation of "! Let's read, let's play, everyone at the beach!". Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, little Sunday attracted all the children of the town and led them to read and play. Very soon, the sunsets, between books and friends became the refuge and escape from the dark conditions in which we all lived.

Those first afternoons gave us the key to what had to be done, not only to rebuild a life, but to improve it. A respectful and welcoming space had to be created where everyone, especially girls, was safe from the abuse and violence that always threatens them, not only in catastrophic situations.

Soon, with the support of the neighbors, we managed to build a temporary ramada for the library, while we registered the A Manoba Foundation as a non-profit organization. We raised enough funds to build a beautiful seismic-resistant library on the plot donated by James Madden, an American volunteer who also lost his home.

Three years after the catastrophe, the A mano manaba library is the place of refuge and recreation for the children of Don Juan. Offers programs such as "Reading Remediation"; "Accompaniment of tasks"; English; Environmental education; Art; "A day in the library"; Soccer and any other activity that the community asks for. Its headquarters are located in Don Juan, Km 70 route of the Spondylus, canton Jama, Manabí.

The Intercultural Center

Thanks to the donations of supportive friends like you, the Handy Manaba Intercultural Center is a reality. This beautiful resistant earthquake construction, made of bamboo and wood, has become an inclusive and wide ceiling where a library with more than 5,000 titles is housed and in which a multitude of activities take place: artistic and cultural workshops, neighborhood meetings, feminist bingos, etc. The CIAMM has become the cultural heart of Don Juan.

Many neighboring communities are replicating this initiative, they have come to ask for our support. We are very happy to share our resources with the libraries of Tasaste, El Cruce, La División, Estero Seco, Tabuga.

All contributions to FAMM go directly to the support of this life-changing project.


The Diners Club del Ecuador and UNICEF alliance awarded the winners of the First Contest of Citizen Initiatives for Education "+Educa2", which seeks to recognize, disseminate and support educational projects that have achieved important results in vulnerable areas of Ecuador.

The first prize went to Fundación A Mano Manaba, which works in the north of Manabí to promote the integral development of children and adolescents through projects such as "Bosque Mar", which promotes water sports, environmental education and skills so that young people have alternatives that keep them away from violence and delinquency. This organization also offers school reinforcement activities, with emphasis on reading and writing, through its library.


Every year the Library of Congress confers special recognition on 15 libraries around the world for their good library practices. A mano manaba community library in Don Juan received this award in 2018 for its efforts to create a literate environment in an artisanal fishing village.

We are very pleased and proud of this recognition and it encourages us to continue in this endeavor. We take this opportunity to recognize the work of our volunteers, the generosity of benefactors and the continued interest and participation of the children of Don Juan. This is an award for collaborative work and is proof that together we are succeeding.

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Contact us

Km. 70 Ruta Spondylus. Jama, Manabí. Ecuador

+593 993406171




Would you like to know the manaba culture and give a hand in a community project? Tell us what you can do and come to know Don Juan as a volunteer!