Biblioburro began in 1997 with Luis Soriano traveling with his two donkeys, Alfa & Beto (alfabeto=alphabet), to the rural Colombian Caribbean bringing books to children who otherwise wouldn't have access to reading materials. Since then, the so-called Donkey Library story has become an inspiration to many. The New York Times, Washington Post, and PBS, among others, have featured Biblioburro's story grabbing everyone's hearts. Alongside, two picture books have been published inspired in Luis, Alfa, and Beto's journeys.
It is with great effort that Biblioburro has been able to build a non-mobile library in La Gloria, where Luis has lived his whole life. There, close to 5,400 books are housed, which are loaned all over our surrounding communities. At the library, Biblioburro has also managed the creation of Biblioburro Digital, which gives free Internet access, tutoring, and alphabetization to children and adults. But despite our growth and the incredible recognition beyond the Colombian borders, our community is still in dire need. Traveling with Alfa & Beto sometimes isn’t possible because the children are out working instead of attending school. Many communities do not have simple resources like running water, thus leaving entire families with bigger problems to bear than attending school or reading books. The management and upkeep of these programs are completed with volunteer efforts but funds are always needed. Snacks and water for the children need to be purchased and refrigerated. Many books are on the floor because there aren't enough shelves. There are broken tables, leaks, and cleaning that need to get done, among many other needs. We hope this page informs you of our arduous work and inspires you to give us a hand, and help us continue riding and reading.
Biblioburro was legally registered as a non-governmental organization in Santa Marta, Colombia on March 26, 2010.