Thursdays at A Mano Manaba is environmental awareness day, with the help of the Ceiba Foundation and the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve, with whom we frequently collaborate. In the last few weeks, the children who visit the library have been learning how to pick, dry, roast and grind the beans, and even taste a delicious cup of coffee....
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 Library of Congress of the United States of America annually confers recognition to the best library practices of fifteen libraries around the world.
This recognition given in 2018 validates FAMM's effort to create a safe, welcoming and literate environment in the middle of a small fishing village with very low levels of school performance and literacy.
Thank you very much to the Library of Congress and to all those who have contributed with their effort, dedication and friendship throughout these years. This prize belongs to everyone!
Km. 70 Ruta Spondylus. Jama, Manabí. Ecuador
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!
You can find more details on volunteering with us on Workaway.