One of my favourite things to do in Oaxaca City
In the next few months before our much needed family trip to my wife’s home town I have decided to write about some of my favourite places to visit in Oaxaca City.
BS Biblioteca Infantil
The Biblioteca Infantil (Children’s Library), funded by the Alfredo Harp Helú Oaxaca Foundation, works to foster a love of reading in children and youth in Oaxaca City. At the library you can find books in Spanish and English, CDs, educational games for different ages, a computer room, an auditorium and a resource centre for the visually impaired. The Jorge Luis Borges library for the blind, founded by Oaxacan graphic artist Francisco Toledo includes a collection of books written in braille, a workshop for teaching braille and special computers with programs for the visually impaired.
While we were living in Oaxaca this was my daughter’s favourite place to spend an afternoon. We enjoyed playing with the blocks and puzzles, or relaxing and reading stories on cushions on the floor. The Biblioteca Infantil is a wonderful place to visit in Oaxaca, whether or not you are travelling with children.
The library was designed by the Oaxacan architect Juan José Santibáñez García. María Isabel Grañén Porrúa, president of the Alfredo Harp Helú Oaxaca Foundation requested that the building be constructed without removing any trees from the property. The end result is an open and free-flowing design that includes nature in it’s construction. The ceiling of a number of the rooms are decorated with drawings and paintings done by neighbourhood children.
More photos and information about the design can be found here (in Spanish).
Located in Oaxaca’s historic Xochimilco neighbourhood, the library hosts story readings, movie showings and workshops to get children excited about reading, art and culture. Oaxaca’s monthly cultural journal, El Jolgorio Cutural wrote about the library’s impact on local children (in Spanish) when the institution celebrated it’s 5th anniversary last year.
The following video (in Spanish) shows how the library is enjoyed by children and youth in Oaxaca City