This website presents information about Biblioteca Hekab Be, the community library in the town of Akumal, in the State of Quintana Roo on the Caribbean Coast of the Republic of Mexico.
The library is located on the access road to Akumal from Federal Highway 307, on the left as you approach the Arch from the highway. The library aquaints young children with books, provides learning resources for school children, offers literacy and writing classes in the Spanish language for adults, offers classes in the English language for older children and adults, conducts programs in the Maya language, and offers classes in the Maya language. Shown here are director Maggie and young-children specialist Emilia.
(Photo by the Webservant)
Hekab Be was founded in 1994 by Brenda Detering, who served as director until she returned to the United States in 2002. Carlos Pech and Emilia each began working at the library while Brenda managed administrative and fundraising activities, and have continued to provide services to the people of Akumal Pueblo. Carlos is fluent in English in addition to Maya and Spanish. Carlos co-ordinates services for adults and older students, and teaches the Maya language class.
(Photo by the Webservant)
Emilia introduces young children to books, letters, words, and numbers that they might not have the opportunity to meet in their homes. Emilia coaches school children in their reading skills. Some Akumal students who have participated at Hekab Be have been awarded scholarships by national organizations to continue their educations.
Hekab Be is not funded by any government authority and relies entirely on donations from private individuals and organizations. At Christmas of 2002, the Ada Rupp Library of Port Clinton, Ohio, sent to Hekab Be several years accumulation of Spanish-language magazines, including National Geographic Spanish edition and Selecciones, which were happily received by the people of Akumal. The Ada Rupp Library has since continued to accumulate its Spanish-language publications and send them to Akumal as the opportunity arises.
In 2005, Maggie McKown joined Hekab Be to co-ordinate administration and fundraising, and try to get Hekab Be to a stable financial status. Maggie was greeted by Hurricane Emily and then visited by Hurricane Wilma. Over the record-breaking 2005 hurricane season, Hekab Be lost the roof to its storage building and about four hundred books that could not be saved. No individuals were seriously injured.
Maggie posts ongoing developments on the blog hekabbe.blogspot.com. Please check in frequently for the ongoing triumphs and disasters of The Little Library That Will.
Fundraising for Hekab Be in the United States has been co-ordinated for many years by Ms. Alice Gartell, who in real life is an officer of the Arizona Education Association in Tempe. Alice has posted a history of the development of Hekab Be online here. If you are moved to donate to Hekab Be, please contact Alice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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