“To travel far, there is no better vessel than a book”: the trajectory of an itinerant library narrated from different geographies. Part 2.

“To travel far, there is no better vessel than a book”: the trajectory of an itinerant library narrated from different geographies. Part 2.

“To travel far, there is no better vessel than a book”: the trajectory of an itinerant library narrated from different geographies. Part 2. 481 674 Lavinia Hirsu

By Diana Cruz (Guatemalan writing from the United Kingdom)

Following the trajectory (remotely) of the travelling library ‘Bibliomochilas’ has given me the opportunity to develop as a researcher and to interrogate the metaphors and paradoxes that have formed and continue to form us as readers in Latin America. During the process of online interviews with teachers, mothers, and fathers of the first level of education, I perceived the constant presence of the aphorism ‘The letter enters with blood’ behind the teaching of the reading, an aphorism which resonates in its imperative adherence to the formation of the reading habit in my own country, Guatemala. In contrast, ‘Reading without knowing how to read’ is an inclusive approach that bets on tenderness which the Yauyan community of early childhood level proposes to replace this tradition of reprimand. Through tenderness, the encounters between childhood, adults, reading, and literature are linked.

Community ties are also strengthened through tenderness and this action, in my opinion, oscillates between playfulness and rebellion. The Yauyan teachers/mediators guide a participatory reading where the exploration and interpretation of the image takes precedence over the decoding of the text and in the context of the first years of education, regulates that growing anxiety of hurrying the learning towards the reading of the written text. The potential of reading images materializes in a space where the children narrate the story by connecting each illustration as the pages turn. This is a space of reading where literature is actively created, and where there is an encouragement to want, need, and look for more words to enrich the dialogues between children and adults. In short, it is a space where the appropriation of language, both textual and visual, is encouraged.

The itinerant nature of the Bibliomochilas has managed to trace new routes to neighbouring provinces within the Lima region. With this same dynamic it is expected to generate strategies to expand the geography of the project, and likewise, to expand the range of possibilities for its readers, because “to travel far, there is no better vessel than a book”.