Jamie Hunter, English Teacher, June 2014
I just wanted to take a minute to write to you to express my gratitude for all that you have done for myself and my English students at the Biblioteca Movil. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for welcoming us. And thank you for being the person that you are and for creating such a wonderful space for the community. I think we are all grateful in San Juan del Sur.By the way, the English students gushed over their penpal cards from Harris Bilingual School and we had a blast during our Skype session. We are looking forward to corresponding more come September.
Sheila Riley, Global Partners, May 2014
First I want to thank you again for your assistance with setting up the library in Santa Rita. You and your staff did a fabulous job with every aspect of the project. Edwin, Heidi and Heather were delightful to work with – good teachers, well organized and fun! It was a pleasure for us to watch their teamwork as they took the teachers, students and even us through the process of opening the library. You have developed an efficient system to get a library up and running. We couldn’t believe that after only 1 day of work every student in the school was able to take home a book for the first time! And thank you for the wonderful selection of books you sent – loved all the excellent nonfiction books in particular. We will be visiting the library again in June and will let you know how it is going.
Dan Banks, Gillette (Wyoming) Rotary Club, February 2014
Hi Jane. I sure hope this finds you doing well and charging forward. It is great to see all the pictures. Truly, it looks like your dream has come true. I can only imagine the personal feeling of accomplishment you must have each time you walk into the Library and each time you see the light turn on in a child’s head as they travel through the experience of learning from the books you provided for them. Very, Very nice job.
In about two weeks Lyn, Steph, Mary and I will be giving a program to the Rotary clubs telling of our experience and adventure with you. I will be doing my best to encourage more members to get involved next year…it is such a wonderful and important cause.
Jennifer, after our anniversary celebration:
Dear and Esteemed Jane: We are very grateful for your hospitality and that of all your staff.I cannot begin to tell you all the kindness shown us by each of them. They all were top notch with us. We are equally grateful to the chef.On Saturday we gave him a lot of work and for this we are very grateful.
It was an unforgettable evening for us. It was a beautiful experience for us being able be together and share with colleagues and you. It has been 8 years since I last danced. The next day we all had bandaged legs imagine all those years of “rust”. You helped things improve a little.
My Victorian box is now adorning my living room which is decorated in red and green. It will illuminate my house this Christmas.
Thank-you again for the happy moments that gave oxygen to our lives.I am at your disposal here in Managua for anything you need. Please let me know when you come.
Special hello to Edwin. He is a very special person with an excellent willingness to work.Well with nothing more to say than we hope you can come soon so that we can in some way return the same hospitality to you. A small token from we received from you.
Margaret Gullette (Sister City Project)
Dear Jane, Your name was mentioned so often as the delegation spent the past ten days in Newton that I said to many people, Let’s make Jane Mirandette an Honorary Member of the Executive Committee. There was general assent. No work involved of course, no extra meetings!. Just our sense that you belong in our American solidarity network in spirit. Wish you could have been here!
Amy is the director of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partnership, an organization that has actively supported development projects in Nicaragua for more than 30 years. In early 2006, the organization entered into a partnership with the HJH Libraries for All program to initiate new lending libraries at the organization’s learning centers located throughout the country. The new libraries would use the lending protocols developed by the SJDS Biblioteca Móvil, and would receive “library in a box” kits from the HJH Program. The first of these was in Tipitapa, a community located near Managua. Since that time, additional libraries have commenced elsewhere in the country.
The Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partnership’s 1st lending library start-up, April 2006
Finally, after years of thought and preparation we sprung forward and delivered 150 books to Rosa’s Learning Center in Tipitapa. Now, you might be wondering, why would it take years of thought? Well, for starters until very recently, lending libraries were truly a foreign concept! Never would a Nica think of taking a book out of an institution, a practice that was just plain not accepted. I’ll be honest in sharing it’s my love for reading and my children’s love for books that has been the catalyst for working to provide reading opportunities in Nicaragua. I was fortunate to meet a special person, Jane Mirandette, who has been my mentor and in 2001 opened the 1st lending library in the country 4 years ago! We share the desire to get books into the hands of both adults and children who really have little or no access to reading materials — a sad but true fact. In our own communities where we are inundated with an abundance of printed material surrounding us constantly it’s hard to imagine this phenomenon. This is a good project and I ask you to join us if it captures your interests, there is nothing like watching a child engaged in a book!
For six weeks this past summer Erin and I lived in a small fishing village on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. Our goals were simple, tri-fold, and conveniently lent themselves well to alliteration: surfing, Spanish, and service.
After watching our meager funds disappear into the hands of some “entrepreneurial” young surf camp owners, we were rescued by Jane Mirandette…owner of the Villa Isabella Hotel and director of the San Jan Del Sur Biblioteca. We read about Jane in the tour-de-force of guidebooks, The Moon Handbook to Nicaragua. Jane just so happened to keep her stateside residence in a small town just north of Boulder. After speaking with Jane, we learned that in exchange for acting as transport for a suitcase of books for her library; she would reciprocate with a free night at her hotel when we arrived. With little money left from the “surf camp,” we were keen for a better turn of luck.
Someone had aligned our stars upon our arrival in San Juan, because within hours of meeting Jane at her hotel, we had a full tour of town, local introductions, appetizers, drinks, dinner, drinks, more local connections (more drinks). By 10PM we found ourselves finishing a fabulous meal at the four star Pelican Eyes Resort. We had our Spanish lessons booked and Jane had convinced us to spend the rest of our time at her hotel for a very modest monthly rate. “Oh,” Jane says, “we’ll need volunteers at the library when you can of course, and tomorrow night you’ll absolutely need to come to my house for the despadido…a going away party for an employee at the library…” Welcome to Nicaragua!