Imagine if you couldn’t order that book you’ve wanted off Amazon.com or take that short walk or car ride to the library either. Instead, you have to wait for your book to be delivered — by a man and his two donkeys.
According to the New York Times, that’s exactly what Luis Soriano, a school teacher from La Gloria, Colombia and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, have been doing for the past decade.
The idea of a Biblioburro, or “donkey library,” came to Soriano while teaching impoverished children and seeing the impact of learning how to read. He travels with his donkeys to deliver books to rural people who don't have easy access to schools or libraries. Political upheaval and drug-related violence have made his travels dangerous. Yet despite confrontations with bandits and a fall that left him with a limp, Soriano continues to venture out with his donkeys.
Soriano and his Biblioburro show what people with limited resources can and are willing to do for the sake of education. Countries with high illiteracy rates (Colombia’s is 20 percent) can learn from his idea. Building schools and libraries outside city limits can empower people to share their own knowledge. Even in the most destitute areas, people want to be educated and exposed to the outside world — even if that means bringing them a library on legs.