The CASA Library Project

AMISTAD CANADA is working with the Centre for Adolescents of San Miguel de Allende (CASA) to bring books and reading programs to young children. We have helped to establish libraries in rural child-care centres and primary schools; and provided books for them. We continue to cover a portion of the salary of CASA’s Library Coordinator.

CASA has operated a successful public library in its headquarters in a working-class neighborhood of San Miguel since 1990. With a collection of over 11,000 books, films and games, children from its Early Childhood Development Center use it daily for reading classes and children from surrounding neighborhoods visit in the afternoons. Numerous studies have shown that children who develop a habit of reading at a young age are more likely to finish high school, pursue university studies and have better employment opportunities.

Unfortunately children in rural areas served by CASA have had no access to libraries. In 2010 CASA’s library started an exciting reading program for rural communities. With visits on a bi-monthly basis, it included reading workshops, storytelling and the lending of books.


In 2012 this developed into a plan to establish permanent libraries in guarderias (child-care centres) and primary schools. Implementation of the plan is now proceeding. So far 16 rural school libraries have opened and two, the Amistad Canada Library and the Mel Kliman Library (named in honour of Amistad’s founder), have been built with the financial support of Canadians through Amistad Canada. These libraries will ensure that children can check out books every day and have adequate space where they can read with their classmates and family members.

  • We have funded the purchase of initial sets of books, bookshelves and signage for two libraries. The Amistad Canada Library is in the elementary school of La Palma de Rancho Viejo, a village near San Miguel and was opened in 2012. The Mel Kliman Library is located in La Regalada and opened in 2014.
  • Labour needed to build the Amistad Canada Library was provided by volunteers, including members of Amistad Canada.
  • Amistad has also worked with Canadian publishers Groundwood and Annick to donate over 800 children’s books in Spanish to the project. Over $1,000 was donated to purchase books from Mexican publishers.
  • Amistad Canada contributes annually to the salary of the Library Coordinator

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