This project started in 2011. Education in Peru is in theory free, but in reality families have to pay obligatory additional sums for books and materials. Although in Peru there is a reasonable level of general literacy there is not much of a culture of reading for pleasure and studying for educational and vocational purposes. There are few public libraries, books are expensive, and there are in any case very few bookshops. The cost of educational materials and books is out of reach for most people in the community.

During our first year of operation, we successfully achieved our main aim of planning and preparing the physical setting for our library and education centre, acquiring a good stock of over 1,000 titles, (some bought, some donated in Peru and some donated in the UK). We now have about 2,000 books. We have made full use of the facilities appropriate to the ages of our children and made firm contacts in Peru with those able to help our staff and children with a good induction into the work and functioning of a library.

Donations of Spanish language books suitable for a children’s or school library would be welcome as would appropriate bilingual books (English/Spanish). Throughout we have had support from the Department of Library Studies at the Catholic University in Lima who arrange for their staff and students to provide an annual training session for our staff and children. We had donations of books in 2016 from two UK publishing companies and three Rotary Clubs between 2016-8.

In memory of Cecilia Barandiaran-Sprot. The donation from Fleet Rotary Club and from Hart Rotary Club, and this film about it, were inspired by Cecilia.


We would always be interested in hearing from suitably qualified and motivated people to continue the work with this project. We look for a librarian or library assistant with experience of working with children, or for someone with the skills and experience of working as a children’s or school librarian, with skills needed to provide information, literacy education and reader development. Some cataloguing experience would be desirable, but is not essential apart from a basic knowledge of Dewey. And ideally a working knowledge of Spanish!

This might well interest a person looking for a career break, or someone in early retirement, or someone researching in this field. Our ideal person would be able to take up a placement of a minimum of three months, with time available to be able to profit from many of the amazing travel opportunities within Peru. We are fairly flexible however. This is an entirely voluntary opportunity and although we would not be able to pay for flights, we provide good accommodation and food in our project at a minimal cost. A great chance to share the life of our refuge where there is always a warm welcome.

We are very experienced in hosting volunteers as an integral part of our work.

If you would like to help us by purchasing or donating books please let us know via or call 01483 576093