La Chispa Library
Planting Hope’s La Chispa Library” is located in the city of Matagalpa, which is a small city in the northern part of the country with about 80,000 inhabitants.
Biblioteca La Chispa is located in the Barrio Walter Mendoza, also known as La Chispa, of urban Matagalpa.
The library was the first Planting Hope project, built in 2002, expanded in 2006 and serving more than 100 individuals daily. The library is a safe, reliable space for students who generally do not have workspace in their homes. Planting Hope scholarship students work at the library and help student patrons access the textbook collection for homework and reference work.
Most students in La Chispa cannot afford to purchase the schoolbooks and the schools do not have books to distribute. For younger children there are books, puzzles and games – educational activities in a safe community space. The library contains a small cyber cafe and a snack store and offers a variety of classes, programs and activities. It also houses a collection of the school textbooks for students to reference and do homework from. Most students in La Chispa cannot afford to purchase the school books and the schools do not have books to distribute.
Computer classes – Running since 2008, the La Chispa library offers classes in basic computer skills, Word, Excel and PowerPoint to La Chispa adults and students.
The librarians visit the local school with books and activities for story time, students attend daily for homework support, children and adults participate in English classes, painting, baking, computer literacy and special events when delegation groups visit from the United States and other countries.
The library space offers a safe, reliable space for students to do their schoolwork since many do not have desk space in their homes. It offers books for children to read and puzzles and games for them to play providing a community space for children to encounter safe and educational activities.
The library also offers English classes for young children run throughout the school year. Classes for adults and older students run when English-speaking volunteers and inters are in residence.
The Cyber Café began with laptops donated by Norwich University in 2008. The café sports four stations open to La Chispa community members.Profits from the café are used to support Planting Hope programs.