‘The house of dreams’, the library that helps build peace in Caquetá

Like the ‘La casita de los Suenos’ library, other reincorporation and educational development projects remained in this department after the signing of the Peace Agreement. PHOTO: Colprensa / United Nations)

To understand the magnitude of the ‘Casita de los Sueños’ project, it is necessary to take into account two names: Luz Stella Salazar Morales and Humberto Patiño. Both are husbands and had the reckless dream of generating hope through education in an area like San Vicente del Caguán.

Historically, this area of ​​the country has been besieged by different armed actors, not only the now extinct FARC-EP; and not to mention the lack of presence of state entities that promote stable economic development, as well as health and stable educational conditions for the children who live in this municipality.

It was for this reason that Salazar and Patiño decided to build, in 2011, a mobile library. They took as a tool a truck that had the sinuous mission of crossing trails and cumbersome roads to reach the most remote villages of that municipality of Caqueteño and fulfill the sole purpose of promoting reading and writing among small farmers who, due to lack of a school, did not know a book or did not know what it was like to sit down and learn the alphabet of tip to tip

This idea was not new, since that couple (she, an accountant and he, dedicated to cabinetmaking since 2011) have lived in San Vicente since 2005. At that time, she began her work as a children’s and youth reading promoter in the company of Reina Amparo Restrepo, who helped her get involved in various projects such as the ‘Feast of Reading’, this being the gateway to be interested in promoting a change in the educational needs of hundreds of children in the department.

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Later, Don Humberto joined that concern to bring education to the most remote areas of San Vicente del Caguán, but first, they began creating teaching materials and toys so that children could learn through playful activity. Thus, the ‘Círculo de Creaciones Didacticas’ was born, where they generated employment for mothers who are heads of households and people belonging to vulnerable communities.

“We always had the idea that the games should be made with wood residues to avoid cutting down trees,” said Mrs. Luz Stella in a dialogue with Radio Nacional de Colombia; but now with the toys already done, the question was: How to advance in this educational proposal?

Don Humberto spearheaded the idea of ​​turning a truck that Luz Stella inherited from her father into a traveling library, and his creativity allowed ‘La Casita de los Sueños’ to go from fantasy to reality. Since then, they have carried out various tours teaching through the ‘Fantasy trunk’ strategy.

During these 11 years since the mobile library started its engines, has visited a total of 267 educational centers in 15 of the 16 municipalities of Caquetá. They have also visited other regions of the country, such as Bogotá, Manizales, Cali, Pitalito (Huila) and Mocoa. Even its website reports that more than 60 thousand people have participated in each of its initiatives.

Currently, the ‘Casita de los Sueños’ promotes the project ‘El Caguán lives Peace through the Letters’, where rural teachers are supported so that they can be trained for education in remote areas; It even teaches parents how to train their children in literacy issues.


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