Welcome to the only Little Free Library in Nayarit, and one of very few in all of Mexico! Our most popular languages are Spanish, English and French, but of course all languages are welcome, and everyone is invited to give or take according to their wants and needs.
The little free library and adjacent "enchanted forest" is an informal volunteer-run, community based phenomenon. The library itself was built and donated by a local carpenter, and book donations and landscaping started by a small group of seasonal residents in the winter of 2022/23.
The library is located at the edge of an empty lot next to Casa Abierta, my home in Guayabitos, a Mexican tourist town about one hour north of Puerto Vallarta. If you’ve never been here, you can find the LFL in Google maps by typing in “Little Free Library Guayabitos”.
It is well used by both seasonal residents and year-round locals alike (though we do shut it down for a few months during rainy season, to avoid damage to the books).
We receive many donations of books in English and French, and the few Spanish books that are donated QUICKLY disappear, suggesting a desire for more literacy materials in the local language. Some of us have bought children's books in Spanish, but it is hard to keep the library stocked. Free resources are scarce in this community, and are much sought-after and appreciated.
We also have a partnership with the public library in Puerto Vallarta, which donates their discards a few times a year if we can send someone with a car to pick them up.
My name is Vera, and I am one of the founders of this project, located in an empty lot next to Casa Abierta, my home in Guayabitos, a Mexican tourist town about one hour north of Puerto Vallarta.
Since there was some empty space in the lot next door, people would often dump trash and building materials there. I paid some guys I knew out of pocket to do an initial clean up and install a garbage bin, and since then, we've begun developing paths through the little jungle that is growing there, posting signs to encourage people to pick up their trash, and even installing a garbage can.
Several community members made and hung some mobiles and wind chimes last year, and we'd love to add more whimsical pieces to the Enchanted forest, and perhaps even some seating areas.
Public parks and parkettes are few and far between in the area, and the shady paths we are building here offer a nice reprieve to those coming to and going from work in the tourist areas of the main drag.
The little free library belongs to everyone and to no one. This means we need your help!
This fundraiser has two major and several minor goals in mind:
1. Teaching & Learning Mural
(Approx Cost: $4000 - 5000 CAD)
We would love to paint a big, beautiful mural on the outside wall of Casa Abierta, facing the enchanted forest and LFL. Through intentional design and possibly a QR code leading to questions in English and Spanish, this bold and colourful mural could be used to invite passersby to consider numbers, colours, animals and plants in Spanish and English (and other languages, if interest and volunteer efforts allow). This would be done in a very organic way, so as not to detract from the simple enjoyment of a colourful piece of wall art.
Discussions with a local artist last winter indicated that the approximate price for such a project, including scaffolding, paint and other materials, and artist time and labour, would be close to $5000 Canadian, given the current exchange rates from CAD to MXN.
(Approx Cost: $1000 - 2000 CAD)
We would love to have a bench or a few chairs and a table near the LittleFreeLibrary so people can enjoy their books or have a coffee with a neighbour outside. Perhaps eventually impromptu tutoring and language exchange sessions can be set up here!
- The library is sometimes tricky for first time visitors to find. We’d love to add some artistic yet practical signage in English and Spanish, with an arrow, posted at some nearby street corners. (Possibly to be incorporated into the price of the teaching mural.)
- More Art ($150 - 200 CAD)
- Wind Chimes, mobiles and folk art: We'd like to acquire at least 5 new pieces this year, from local artisans, and install them in the enchanted forest.
- Spanish Books ($500 - 700 CAD)
- More books in Spanish, especially children's books, comic books and/or books for young adults.
- Printing ($150 - $250)
- Donation labels, explanatory bookmarks & small flyers in Spanish and English with maps to hand out within the community, so that more families can find their way to our little community gem.
We will purchase and install books and art as donations come in, and would love to begin work on the mural this winter. But we know a project of this magnitude may take some time to fund, so we hope to have it the mural funded within one year's time, and will keep the fundraiser open until at least December 2024.
Any additional donations beyond the original goal will be used to support general maintenance and upkeep of this space and/or to purchase and install additional Spanish language books, plants, outdoor furniture and hanging mobiles, as well as art supplies so that local school children can create something to add to the enchanted forest!
Feedback and ideas for how to make this public space more vibrant, comfortable and useful to the local community are always welcome. Just remember, if it involves money or time, be prepared to step up!
Thank you for considering this project for your contribution large or small. We are grateful for all donations of time and funds, and hope to see you sometime at the little free library in Guayabitos, Mexico. If you’ve never been here, you can find the LFL in Google maps by typing in “Little Free Library Guayabitos”.
We hope to see you in person sometime, but in the meantime, thank you for supporting this community based project by donating and/or sharing the link!