In Nueva Granada, Columbia, where not long ago most of the fields were battlegrounds between left wing guerillas and paramilitary death squads, Mr. Soriano Bohorquez has been on a mission since 1990. A primary school teacher, he began a mobile library with help of his two donkey allies–Alfa and Beto. Covering a radius of around 20 km a day, which takes him around 8 hours, Mr. Soriano delivers books up to 600 families.
Everyone is at war,
Soriano is waging his own:
A war against illiteracy and ignorance.
On a field that was once a battleground,
He wades through the grass,
And blows his clarion–a bright, blue board
With the word ‘Biblioburro’
Powerfully sprawled across.
Behind his blue shield
He sits brave,
On a donkey
With 200 books–
Dictionaries, classic novels, school texts.
And followed by the donkey,
Are a trail of giggling children,
Look like letters placed together to form words
And words strung together to form sentences;
Children who are excited to look at pieces of a world they might never see,
But now can experience
As they come to them,
Trot by trot.