Matapalo Community Library Project

$6,295 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 19 months
Created November 18, 2017
Fundraising Team
We, Tessa Tracy and Metea Koronas, are fundraising to open a children’s library and community center in Matapalo, Nicaragua alongside a team of local youth between the ages of 16 and 21. Matapalo is a rural community of about 500 people in the mountainous region of  Matagalpa. We first visited there after graduating from high school in 2014. Now, we feel as at home there as we do in Cambridge. 

We will forever feel indebted to the residents of Matapalo for the friendship and wisdom they have shared with us over the past five years. Many of the children in this community are as dear to us as our own cousins and siblings, and we are confident in all of the work we can do together to improve access to educational resources and opportunities.

We believe a lending library could harness children’s early love for reading while also providing a safe and supportive learning environment. The space could also serve as a neutral location for community meetings. A group of Nicaraguan youth who kickstarted a similar initiative in another part of the country, Tipitapa, has inspired our work and we hope to continue collaborating. We have already purchased the land and built the library's structure. Since beginning this fundraiser, we have also either purchased or had donated books, tables, chairs, backpacks, art supplies, white boards and school supplies.

For the first six months, the project operated in a living room. With the generosity of our supporters, we were able to successfully raise enough money to build an independent structure for the library.

Most recently, donations were used to connect electricity, paint the building and complete a community mural with local artists.

We are currently fundraising to fund art classes, grow our book collection and expand programming.

Since beginning the project, we were able to host various kickstart activities to engage the children in the community and also begin organizing with youth leaders. We established the process for lending books, and also held English classes twice a week for three different age levels with around 80 community members participating. We also held meetings with community leaders who directed us on how to best use the funds we have raised so far. 

We have high hopes that the project will expand, and we will eventually be able to offer skills workshops, literacy classes and academic scholarships. Access to books, school supplies and extracurricular academic support can open many doors. And the young people at the head of this project will have an opportunity to develop their leadership skills while giving back to their community.

So we turn to our community in the U.S., and ask that if you are able, you consider making a contribution of any size to support this project. With only $10 we could buy a book. With $40, we could build a bookshelf. Below, we have included a budget of the library’s anticipated start-up costs that we developed with the help of Nicaraguan community organizers who have successfully opened similar projects in their own communities.

We would also be endlessly grateful for any nonfinancial support such as recommendations for children's or young adult books to keep on our shelves. We are also collecting new or like-new backpacks, Spanish-language books, art supplies and school supplies to bring down. Your questions, feedback and advice are also welcome and would be greatly appreciated.  

For now, every cent donated will go directly towards funding art classes. If you know anyone else who may be supportive of this work, please spread the word. 

Thank you for in advance for your generosity and creativity, and for taking the time to learn more about this project.

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We are so excited to see the library open and full of children after almost two years of fundraising, planning and operating in a living room.

Thank you SO much to everyone who has donated, or supported with their time and words. The library is finally built and we reached our fundraising goal to paint, get doors & windows, connect electricity and have this beautiful mural done by a local artist.

We are currently raising funds to hold art classes (taught by the same muralist) and expand our book collection. Please consider making a donation of any size if you’re able, every dollar helps! Feedback and words of wisdom are also greatly appreciated.

Or if you’d be interested in holding a book, school supplies and art supplies drive at home, please contact us!

Please share and spread the word.
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We are so excited to share that with all of your generous donations we were able to successfully complete the library's construction! This week, we met with a local carpenter and the building will be equipped with windows, doors, bookshelves and seating in just a few short weeks.

The library has a wonderful team of youth leaders/librarians, a great selection of books and school supplies, games, whiteboards, and a number of tables and chairs.

Now, all we need to be fully operational in our new building is $200 to set up electricity and $100 to finish painting. We are also hoping to raise $100 more to buy paints and materials to complete a community mural with local artists. Beyond these $400, every cent will go towards expanding our book collection and offering more classes and programs.

Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for all of the support we have received so far. We will continue to keep our community of supporters in the loop as the project progresses. As always, we welcome your feedback and ideas!
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We have wonderful news! We are so happy to say that with all of your help, we successfully raised the $4000 to build the library. Construction began in mid-September and should be completed within a week. We have included some photos in this update.

We are extremely grateful for your generosity, and look forward to continuing to collaborate as the project advances. Our next steps will include growing our book collection, further furnishing the space and expanding the project's programming.

Sending all of our thanks!
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$6,295 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 19 months
Created November 18, 2017
Fundraising Team
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