September 14, 2009
“Biblioburro” – a donkey library – visits Colombian children

In rural Colombia, a man is bringing knowledge to hundreds of farm children on the back of a burro. A librarian, he travels far and wide to hand out books.

Independent producer Valentina Canavesio reports from La Gloria for Ayoka Productions.




I thought that the BiblioBurro report was one of the finest pieces
of reporting that I have ever seen come out of Latin America.
It was just a great piece of television, showing-off Public Television’s capabilities and the talent of a very perceptive
documentary producer. The piece really touched my heart and
tends to restore one’s sometimes faltering faith in humanity.
I have done a lot of documentary production, myself, for public
television in South America, some of it in Colombia, and so I can
especially appreciate the work that went into your superb piece of
documentary work. Both Latin America and Public Television can
be PROUD. Thanks for the retrospective.


“The Traveling Biblioburro” reminds me as a youth of the wonderment of books,and their accessibility. These little “Sacred Learning Cathedral’s”, at and about Colombia’s farming communities – this mobile pipe-piper of “learned-song-literature-stimulation” – the unique fluidity of this library as an individual philanthroic invaluable gift to the indigenous poor,hearkens only hope! Reading,learning,and imagination are all made whole – the medication for the mind – the stimulate of thought – the pacifier of transgressions. It is the manifestation of anticipated subtle quiet – the soft fragrance of nurture blossoming within – the accentuation of the printed word, parlayed with the mankind’s collective genius of natural “God” given cerebral rights. Bravo Worldfocus to your journalist,and producers,…mr earle


Valentina Canavesio, the producer of the program, says:
If you would like to help the Biblioburro, please contact me for more information via our website or by email at . Thank you!


Thank you for the inspirational stories tonight (march 10,2010) on pbs. It is so uplifting to see stories of such selfless people making a difference in the world. These people are helping so many others with such limited resources of their own. These people are the “Mother Teresa”s” we need to help change this world. Thanks to them for their help and for their inspiration to others.


How can I help the Biblioburro


The story that you reported in the news tonight about ‘Biblioburro-a donkey Librafy visits Colombia Children’ is a very touching story. He works by himself for the childen who need to be educated with reading and writing by a moving library carried a donkey. We would to help him in some ways so that his work can be done more efficiently and effectively. Please let us know with whom we should contact.

Best regards,



This poor little burro should get the praise – he’s the one doing all the work! Not only do you load him down with books, Luis, but then you climb on him too? You are bigger than he is – why don’t you walk? Somebody please donate a moped or cart or something to this cause…books are great, but beasts of burden are sad…..


Bringing books to children is great, but it was troubling to see this sad, scar-faced donkey have to carry not only a full grown man on his back, but a heavy load of books as well for an eight-hour journey. Teaching children to have compassion for animals is an important lesson as well — through actions as well as words. Maybe Biblioburro could travel with two donkeys to share the load.


Please let me know how can I help Mr.Soriano with
this wonderfull work. I am a retired teacher.I was so inspired by the Biblioburro-story , Que Dios bendiga ael sr. Soiano, su familia y todos los ninos,,get back to me thanks


This is such a heart-warming story. It is so wonderful to see people giving selflessly to the least of the least. Books and reading are so important for children everywhere. God bless this ministry of education.


Making a difference in a community starts with the children, and the Biblioburro is an inspiration…How can I help?


Sin duda que este hombre esta haciendo la diferencia para muchisima gente.
Yo tambien trabajo para una biblioteca movil y amo mi trabajo con todo mi corazon.


This is an incredible story – I’d like to see it as a picture book in Spanish and English with perhaps half the proceeds going to the Biblioburro


I think this $30,000 grant could easily be awarded to Biblioburro for all his efforts to deliver to his community. Please pass on to Biblioburro! This grant is open to a select number of countries with Colombia listed as one of them.


I found your piece on the biblioburro simply moving. How can people with so little give so much?
How can I donate toward Mr. Soriano’s library?

Thanks for your excellent work!


Yo tuve la experiencia de ser instructor rural de educacion primaria por un año en Mexico. Mi institucion proveia suficientes libros de texto y libros de lectura adicionales. La gente campesina en cualquier lugar no tienen libros en casa para que los niños lean, por eso entiendo la importancia de llevar libros a los niños. El maestro Soriano y su biblioburro me infunden respeto y admiracion. Que Dios bendiga a este noble caballero.


Este es un esfuerzo difícil muy generoso.
Thank you for making this known.


I would like to show this video clip to a women’s group I belong to. Is this possible? How can we help?




Me conmovió y emociono como no tienen idea, me hizo recordar el compromiso social que tiene mi profesión, Lic en Bibliotecología, al mismo tiempo que me siento orgulloso de ella, mando una gran felicitación al Profesor Luis Soriano, y ofrezco mi ayuda y apoyo incondicional desde México, espero poder contactar con el profesor, para ofrecer mi apoyo al igual que el de varios colegas en México


A lo largo de la historia se ha requerido de personas con perpectivas diferentes, quienes además de analizar la realidad tal como es, orientan sus acciones a dar respuestas a las carencias de sectores marginados del desarrollo social, educativo, etc, etc., en este sentido la acción asume este hombre es un ejemplo encomiable a seguir por bibliotecarios desde las puertas de nuestras casas, desde las puertas de la biblioteca


well if you wanna help you could comunicate via mail (phisical mail) to La Gloria,Cesar,Colombia and write to mr soriano,i don`t think there is a guy with the same name in la gloria,it´s an small town(zorry for my english),i have been there many times,my family lives like at 10 minutes from la gloria,anyway,if i can get any information about contacting mr luis soriano,i will tell you


En Colombia la violencia viaja en Narco-Toyotas mientras la paz apenas si se mueve en burro. Los acuerdos militares son tan supersónicos que no pueden ver el arma pacifica que puede ser un libro en las manos de un niño.
¿Por que no hacer acuerdos para que esas camionetas que se van a destruir en USA para ahorrar energía, se utilicen para hacer bibliotecas rodantes? No olvidemos que “estar funcionando” fue uno de los requisitos para entregar los $4,500 del subsidio de los contribuyentes. En el mundo hay muchos países que necesitan ahorrar en ignorancia y si nosotros podemos ayudar por que no.


yo pienso que el senor quiere ayudar los ninos en Colombia. Los ninos no tienen libros entonces el senor es muy simpatico y traigan los libros a ellos. Es muy triste que los ninos no tienen la educacion que los estudiantes en los estados unidos reciben pero los ninos aprecian el senor y apprenden.


Yo pienso que este hombre es muy simpático y pensativo. Él quiere educar los niños de su comunidad. Yo estoy sorprendido porque este hombre cabalga su burro para muchas horas para los niños. Este es un acción muy generoso. También, él quiere crear niños que comprenden los morales como derechos y deberes y responsabilidades para la futura. Yo pienso que es interesante que este hombre dedica su vida para su comunidad y la futura de su personas.


Where there is a desperate need for books there seems to be no shortage in creative ways to bring them to others. Viva el biblioburro!


Un saludo fraterno al profesor que trabaja en este proyecto.


[…] Video by World Focus. […]


Hi, I am reposting the producer’s note on helping the featured program.

Valentina Canavesio Says:

If you would like to help the Biblioburro, please contact me for more information via our website or by email at . Thank you!


LIke so many others, I would love to know what steps to follow to help the Biblioburro and perhaps start more! Please email me any info possible. Thank you…what an amazing story!


Biblioburro is a great idea and so helpful to Colombian children


For the people who kindly want to help the Biblioburro,I recommending trying to find his address or phone number and then you can wire him some money, unfortunately many people will try to take advantage of it in his name and our children. God bless the people that with their heart in their hands want to help. Thank you. Oh bye the way I am Colombian.


Venezuela has had BIBLIOMULAS (Mule Libraries) for many years !!

As nice as the Biblioburro story is, I was disappointed by the way in which it was used in the September 14th, 2009 PBS news show. It was shown immediately after a report that neighboring Venezuela plans to purchase russian tanks. As if to emphasize…see…a nice country and our friend and a demon country friendly to Russia. No recognition was made that Venezuela has had for many years a similar program called Bibliomulas (Mule Libraries). In fact, the BBC News reported on it two years ago. Please search its website for “Venezuela’s four-legged mobile libraries.”

This is not the first time that this type of fabricated contrast between Colombia and Venezuela is made…how sad!…Worldfocus missed the perfect opportunity to show one of the many beautiful stories that these two countries have in common…and if you wish to report on military expenditures of these two countries you should so in an honest, even-handed, and responsable way… for there is already a lot of friction in that part of the world.


I am very interested in following up this story and publish an interview with this amazing guy!! I am a journalist from Atlanta, there are many colombians here who would love to help Biblioburro!!Please contact me


If you would like to help the Biblioburro, please contact me for more information via our website or by email at . Thank you!


I, too, would like to help Biblioburro.


How can I help the Biblioburro?


How can I help the Biblioburro.

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