viernes, 14 de diciembre de 2007

Coming to the end of our vacaciones... been a wonderful break for all
of us. The library reopens on Tuesday January 8th... our first clown
show is on the preceding Saturday 5th at 2pm in the plaza. And our
first committee meeting of members of the Fundacion is on Saturday
12th. Committe members are invited to our house in San Antonio Aguas
Calientes at 9.30 sharp. Other interested parties are invited to
attend for a brain-storming /exchange of ideas session at 10.30am.
Everyone is invited to visit the library before the afternoon session
at half past one. Those who want to stay for lunch please let us know.
Our address is:
Chuchi Achoch Ajaw
3era Avenida, 1-01, Zona 2,
San Antonio Aguas Calientes.
which is basically just off the main plaza above the heladeria, Neveria.

Thankyou to John Bell of Trancisiones for sending a pile of lovely new
books for the reopening. Hugely appreciated as always.

miércoles, 14 de noviembre de 2007

October and November at Job Vuh

No rain November

November, season without rain, has been really interesting on a couple of fronts, we've experimented with reading sessions out in the plaza now the rain has abated with a much larger group of kids. There's something great about sitting under a tamarind tree, reading a selection of stories, while passing kids who wouldn't otherwise come into the library stop to listen. Activities in the library included the kids teaching us how to make kites for Todos Santos(All Saints and the Day of the Dead when everyone heads to the cemetery to fly kites) and writing postcards to various grandmothers after reading ´Querida Abuela... tu Susi´a book written in card format. And we made a board game, some plasticine porcupines, storybooks about witches... .No
We've also gone on three excursions to celebrate the end of the year and reward our faithful friends. The first was a visit to the fresh water pools in Santa Caterina, about a ten minute walk from the main square, which some of the kids had never been to before. The girls had a tough time getting permission from their parents, but the two that managed swam just as hard as the ten or so boys and went home with wet t-shirts under their sweaters (and apparently avoided detection). The second trip was to Antigua to visit Cooperacion Espanola's exhibition of photos of detainee immigrants trying to cross the border to the States: a bit close to the bone for many of our kids. El Sitio was closed but opened especially for us, the blotchy arty nudes caused a stir amongst the older kids. But the highlight was definitely the playground and even the eighteen year old who'd come with her sister couldn't resist - there's no playground in San Antonio. And finally we spent our last day at the zoo, thanks to Rosita, an epic journey in a minibus full of roadsick kids, who were predictably thrilled by Mocosita, the same elephant Kyle saw as a kid, giraffes, sleepy lions
and fornicating llamas.
Also new is our film afternoon - for the last three Wednesdays the kids have paid one quetzal to see 'El Rey Leon', 'El Camino de los Pinguinos' and 'Jorge, el Curioso'. The last was definitely the most popular and more than twenty kids crammed into our little room and giggled all the way through it. Kyle and I have shut the doors to take a road trip across Guatemala for a month. We'll do a few outdoor sessions in December but won't officially open till January eighth.
Thanks this month are due especially to Maria Ines Bunge, the ower of Teach Store, who sent us a box full of books, games, small toys and resources.... delivered by Ana Callejas and family. And to Penny of Miracles in Action who have bought us a big TV and little DVD player, so that when we reopen we won't have to cram around the laptop to watch movies. Also to Fernando for continuing to volunteer regularly... and as always to Pio Callejas who is steadily moving us towards becoming a legal foundation.

Noviembre, sin lluvia!

Noviembre, la estación sin lluvia, ha sido bastante interesante: hemos experimentado con sesiones de lectura en el parque ahora que la lluvia ha abatido - con un grupo de niños mucho más grande. Hay algo fantástico sobre sentarse bajo un árbol de tamarindo, mientras los niños quienes normalmente no vendrían a la biblioteca paran a escuchar.
También hemos hecho tres excursiones para celebrar el fin de año y premiar a nuestros amigos más fieles. La primera fue una visita a las piscinas de agua cristalina en Santa Catarina, a unos diez minutos de San Antonio. No les dieron permiso a muchas niñas a ir a las piscinas, pero las que sí llegaron nadaron tan energéticamente como los niños y se fueron a casa con camisetas mojadas debajo de su suéter (aparentemente nadie supo que nadaron). La segunda fue una visita a el excelente museo de la Cooperación Española en la Antigua, a ver una exhibición con fotos de emigrantes guatemaltecos que nunca llegaron a los Estados: un tema tal vez un poco personal para los niños. También fuimos a El Sitio, a ver una exhibición de fotografías totalmente diferentes que causo muchas risas entre los niños: desnudos artísticamente desenfocados. Pero lo mejor fue la visita al parque de juegos, pues no hay uno en San Antonio. La tercera visita fue al zoológico, un viaje épico con episodios de nausea pero que valió la pena. Los niños vieron a "La Mocosita", el mismo elefante que Kyle vio cuando era pequeño, así como jirafas, leones dormilones y llamas fornicando.
También otra novedad es nuestra tarde de cine: los últimos miércoles hemos presentado películas por un quetzal, como "El Rey Leon", "El Camino de los Pinguinos" y "Jorge y el Curioso." La ultima fue la más popular y más de veinte niños se apretaron entre nuestro cuartito y gozaron de la película.
Por ahora cerraremos la biblioteca mientras hacemos un viaje por Guatemala hasta mediados de diciembre. Abriremos nuevamente el ocho de enero.
Este mes debemos agradecer a Maria Ines Bunge, de la tienda Teach, quien nos mandó una caja llena de libros, juegos y otros recuros. Gracias también a Ana Callejas por llevarnos estas maravillas. También le agradecemos a Penny Rambacher de Miracles In Action (ver Links) quienes nos han dado una televisión y un DVD, para mejorar la experiencia de las peliculas en la biblioteca. También gracias a Fernando por ayudar frecuentemente en la biblioteca... y como siempre a Pio Callejas quien nos acerca cada día más hacia la meta de la fundación.

miércoles, 17 de octubre de 2007

Rainy September

New books (still thanks to Rosita) include several bilingual fairy tales, 'Freight Train' by Donald Crews, 'My Friends' by Taro Gomi, Eric Carles' 'A Busy Spider', a hardback of Latin American Rhymes and to give Kyle and I inspiration 'The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling'. We have been reading a children's version of the Popul Vuh with the kids, 'The Tin Soldier' and a host of other stories. We've also embroidered a tiny rug, made little bead bichos or bugs, a three dimensional cyclorama, a woman of grains, sea-themed mobiles from "fomy" (a weird material the kids love here), paper boats and a board game with forfeits and questions taken from books in the library. We finished our month of clowning on a high note with over fifty kids, taking shelter from the rain under the municipal arches while we read 'From Head to Toe' by Carle. We will continue this alternative outdoor session on the first Saturday of each month.
Huge thank you to Irene de Passarelli for our first computer and Desiree and Leo for contributing a further three (and to Pablo Guggenheim of the Riecken Foundation for putting them in touch with us). Our suite is coming together! And to Lucy Passarelli for the photocopier: the kids love watching it work almost as much as colouring in the pictures it produces. Also thanks to the mayor of San Antonio, Elwin Hernandez, for lending us loudspeakers every weekend for the past month to promote and play the music for our clown show. To Rodrigo, again, for helping Kyle to set up as an independent merchant, which will allow us to 'rent' our logo to Azotea who generously want to donate some proceeds from their coffee to Caldo de Piedra. A hearty gracias to Katie and Ricardo Pokorny for thinking of us.
This month Kyle is working on a report for 'Businesses for Education' called Educational Atlas, researching 41 schools in the departamento of Sacatepéquez. You can read a summary of his findings by the end of November at just email us for the registration name and password. While progress in education is being made, overall the conditions (from poor sanitation to classroom numbers) that most children are being taught in make for depressing reading.

miércoles, 12 de septiembre de 2007

Video of the clown show

Fred Zambroski produced a video on the last clown show:


Thanks Fred!

lunes, 27 de agosto de 2007

Rainy August in Job Vuh

August... part of a shipment arrived from the States (thanks to Transitions) of bilingual and Spanish books: a breath of fresh air! They include favourites like Tomie de Paola's 'Strega Nona' and Shel Siverstein's 'El Arbol Generoso'. Thank you Rosita. Thanks to Omi for extra chairs. And to Andrew Ross for 'James y Melecoton Gigante'. And the Kloss family for the pile of books they left us. And Rodrigo Callejas and Cecilia Bonilla of Carillo y Asociados, the lawyers who are donating their time to set us up as a foundation. And to Fred, Carlos, Melvin and Hugo for teaching us how to make up and about Bertol Brecht's ideas of peoples' theatre. And to Herbert for the bags of vitamins. And to Neri, our most persistant volunteer. And to Elwin Hernandez, the mayor of San Antonio, for lending us a tanoi. And to Derek who never tires of putting us in touch with people who can help... .
Activities this month have included building a dolls' house, making paper mache beetles, carrot cake, animals from clay and a board game. But the kids are strangely hooked on oragami: we've made penguins, tulips and sharks.

The themes have been dinosaurs, magic, animals and fables. The kids queued up to excavate bones buried in a hard clay block which took them a week of painstaking digging. The magician costume is almost worn through with wear. And Samuel and Walter brought their pet cat, much against its will.

The latest is the clown show which will run every Saturday for six weeks in the town plaza. Making-up in front of jostling kids, music playing through a tanoi from the pick-up, on a hot day is a new experience for us. We gave out strawberries and balloons, did gymnastics, juggling, exercises, charades, played games, sang songs and told the story of stone soup (caldo de piedra).

Stone Soup? The story of the hungry traveller who stops in a famished village and knocks on an old lady's door. She has nothing to eat.

'Nothing? I'll show you how to make stone soup.'

And from his knapsack he produces a big, black stone.

'Have you a pot?'

She has.

'And some onions?'

'No but my neighbour, Maria does.'

'And garlic?'

'No, but let's ask Juan.'

'And guisquil?'

'Luisa grows them in her garden.'

'How about a chicken?'

'Uncle Chepe keeps chickens.'

And so it was that stone soup was made by the entire village, who ate their fill at the old lady's house.

Which pretty much describes how Caldo de Piedra came to be... two travellers arrive in San Antonio with a few books and with a bit of help we have started the community library, Job Vuh.

viernes, 27 de julio de 2007

July in Job Vuh / Julio en Job Vuh

July is almost over! So what have we been up to this month?
Llegamos al fin de julio! Que hemos estado haciendo?

Reading in the library (leyendo en la biblioteca)

The future archeologist (el futuro arqueólogo)

Origami ducks (patos de origami)

Outside activities (actividades afuera)

miércoles, 25 de julio de 2007

Open for five weeks… . and what’s been happening?

Well with an average of fifteen kids a day between the ages of four to eleven with a couple of new faces each day (three that have made it every single day), the library is up and running. From a very open sort of a thing we’ve become more structured by necessity, starting the afternoon with exercises to offload excess energy, followed by a story told by Kyle or I, an activity (painting, modelling in clay or plastacine, drawing, collage etc) and ending with quiet reading.

The weeks have been themed… and included ‘Guatemala’, ‘Food, Digestion and Healthy Eating’, ‘The Sun, Moon and the Planets’ and ‘Hygiene’ with a visit from the local doctor. Next week, due to popular demand the focus will be on ‘Dinosaurs’. Our most regular volunteers have included Neri, a local student of engineering and Rosita, who loves telling stories.

New books, tables, chairs, shelves, art materials, a photocopier and biscuits have been flooding in… . (Thanks to Rosita, Rojelio and Lucia) but we definitely need more!

High on the wish list are:

  • VOLUNTEERS; especially talented ones that like kids! Musicians, readers, cleaners, artists, soap or candle-makers welcome.
  • A dvd player.
  • Children’s dvds in Spanish.
  • Cds of quality children’s music, nursery rhymes etc.
  • A blackboard.
  • A regular delivery of fresh fruit.
  • Puzzles of all descriptions.
  • Massive quantities of good, safe paint. (Is there the powder variety here?)
  • Ditto scrap book paper.
  • Glue (wallpaper).

In July and August we hope to have:

  • a puppet play visit us, thanks to Carmen Wirtz,
  • a clown workshop start with three of us learning the art,
  • set up a visit with a neighbouring sports teacher,
  • and receive a visit from our next door neighbour, the dentist, whose drill provides a little white noise in our village.

Hemos abierto por cinco semanas... ¿y qué ha estado pasando?
Bueno: con un promedio de quince niños al día entre cuatro y once años y un par de novatos cada día (tres han llegado todos los días desde que abrimos) la biblioteca está en marcha. De un lugar muy abierto y sin reglas nos hamos vuelto más estructurados, empezando cada sesión con ejercicios, seguido por una historia contada por Kyle o yo, una actividad (pintura, modelaje en arcilla o plasticina, dibujo etc) y terminando con lectura individual.
Cada semana ha tenido su tema: "Guatemala", "Comida, digestión y salud", "la luna, el sol y los planetas", y "higiene" con una visita de el doctor local. La próxima semana nos han pedido "dinosaurios". Nuestros voluntarios más regulares han incluído a Neri, un estudiante de ingeniería de San Antonio y Rosita, a quien le encanta contar cuentos. Nuevos libros, mesas, sillas, materiales de arte, una fotocopiadora y galletas han seguido llegando, gracias a Rosita, Rogelio y Lucía) pero definitivamente necesitamos más!
Muy alto en la lista están:
  • VOLUNTARIOS de cualquier estirpe
  • Un dvd player
  • DVDs para niños en español
  • CDs de música o cuentos para niños
  • Un pizarrón
  • Fruta fresca para darles a los niños
  • Un pizarrón
  • Rompecabezas de cualquier tipo
  • Mucha pintura no dañina para la salud
  • Papel
  • Goma o cola

En Julio y Agosto esperamos tener:
  • Un show de títeres, gracias a Carmen Wirtz
  • Un taller de lectura con payasos
  • Visita a un campo de juegos con una profesora de educación física
  • Una visita de el dentista de el pueblo

miércoles, 20 de junio de 2007

Job Vuh, the community library for children in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, opened this Sunday, with the help of Caldo de Piedra. The day’s highlights included a visit by three clowns of the Grupo de Teatro Pastores organized by Carlos Gómez who are, when they take their costumes off, a school director and two students of education. Their great act, capturing the essence of the library, entertains and educates children at the same time. After their success on Sunday they are looking to set up an ongoing project to train clowns in San Antonio. Volunteers needed!

But perhaps most important of all, around fifty children visited the library to look at the books and livened up its walls with their coloring in of geometric drawings of houses, bikes and people. As many adults came too, bringing gifts of food and books. Members of COCODE put up a canopy and a banner. A small pig, called Ak, was roasted for the occasion and all the folk involved ate a hearty meal of suckling pig, beans, tayuyos (small tamales) and tortillas.

The library will now be open every afternoon from Tuesday to Saturday. The sessions will include nursery rhymes, story-telling, an art session and quiet reading time for all those who attend. We are looking for funds to provide music (cd-player and cds), materials (paper, crayons, paints, scissors etc), children’s furniture, fruit for the children as they leave the library… and of course more books. Volunteers to deliver sessions, clean the library, raise money by selling cookies/food, teach music or art are also needed!

Huge thanks to (in no partucular order):

Fred and the three clowns from Pastores for their energy and time.

Neri and his grandfather, Servilliano, who killed and prepared Ak.

Neri for organizing the banner.

COCODE for providing the canopy and putting up the sign.

Soraya, Marta and Lizayda for the balloons and tidying up.

Angélica Marín for cooking the pig and serving it.

Herbert and Percy for helping in the library.

Ana and Juan Callejas for their amazing donation on the day of cupcakes, juice, encyclopedias, novels, puzzles and games.

Rosita Passarelli de Steele for biscuits.

Fernando Villalta for helping to organize and set up.

Elwin Esmith Lopez, the mayor of San Antonio, for donating the room and supporting us on the day.

Teresa Quiñónes, Derek Steele, Carmen and Nick, Liz and Chris, Jo and Rafa for showing up and supporting us.

Job Vuh, la biblioteca comunitaria para niños en San Antonio Aguas Calientes, abrió este domingo, con el apoyo de Caldo de Piedra. Hubo una visita de los payasos del Grupo de Teatro Pastores, organizados por Carlos Gómez, quienes al quitarse los trajes son un director de una escuela y tres estudiantes de magisterio. Su excelente show entretuvo a los niños y les enseñó sobre la biblioteca a la vez. Después de su éxito este domingo estarán empezando un proyecto para entrenar a payasos en San Antonio. Se necesitan voluntarios!

Pero tal vez lo más importante de todo es que al rededor de cincuenta niños visitaron la biblioteca y animaron sus paredes con sus dibujos geométricos de casas, bicicletas y personas. Llegaron similar cantidad de adultos también, trayendo comida y libros. Los miembros de COCODE pusieron un toldo y una manta con el nombre de la biblioteca. Un pequeño lechón llamado Ak fue asado para la ocasión y todos los prsentes comieron un manjar de lechón, tayuyos (pequeños tamales) y tortillas.

La biblioteca estará abriendo todas las tardes de martes a sábado. Las sesiones incluirán canciones, cuenta cuentos, arte y pintura así como tiempo para lectura individual para todos los niños que antinedan. Estamos busando fondos para proveer música (cd player y discos), materiales como papel, crayones, pinturas, tijeras etc., muebles para niños, fruta para que coman antes de irse a casa... y por supuesto más libros. Voluntarios para dar sesiones, limpiar la biblioteca, y recaudar fondos vendiendo comida o galletas, dar clases de arte o música también se necesitan!

Muchas gracias a:

Fred y los tres payasos de Pastores por su energía y tiempo.

Neri y su abuelo, Servillano, por matar y preparar a Ak.

Neri por organizar la manta.

COCODE por el toldo y colgar la manta.

Soraya, Marta y Lizayda por los globos y limpieza

Angélica Marín por cocinar el lechón y servirlo.

Herbert y Percy por ayudar en la biblioteca.

Ana y Juan Callejas por su generosa donación de cubiletes, jugo, enciclopedias, rompecabezas y juegos.

Rosita Passarelli de Steele por las galletas.

Fernando Villalta por ayudar a organizar e instalar.

Elwin Esmith López, alcalde de San Antonio, por donar el cuarto y apoyarnos en el día.

Teresa Quiñónez, Derek Steele, Carmen y Nick, Liz y Chris, Jo y Rafa por llegar a apoyarnos.

domingo, 10 de junio de 2007

Library Opening, San Antonio A.C.

Caldo de Piedra’s (Stone Soup’s) first community library will open on June 17th the same day as the town celebrates its annual feria.

Job Vuh (in Cakquichel), Lluvia de Libros or Book Rain will open on the second floor of the town hall, just off the main plaza thanks to the generous gift of a room by the mayor, Elwin Esmith Lopez.
It will open with over a hundred brand new quality Spanish books for children and several hundred more second-hand and English books.

Clowns from Pastores will be helping to celebrate the library’s first day. And a small pig, called Ak, will be roasted for the occasion.

Everyone is welcome.

The library will then be open for a couple of hours each afternoon to all children of the villages of San Antonio, Santa Caterina and Santiago Zamorra.

We are looking for volunteers!

Many thanks are due to many people for making this amazing thing happen:

Angelica Marin for her unwavering faith and incredible skill in bring people together.

Elwin Esmith Lopez for the key to the room.

Rosita Passarelli de Steele for her generous gift of books, a carpet and pillows.

Pablo Butki and Cecilia Rosales of the Reicken Foundation for the English books.

John Bell and Flor Caniz of Transitions for bringing books free from the States.

Alba Edelmira Estrada in Chiche’s Reicken library for her session with parents and toddlers.

Amilcar Zea of Casa de Libro for his time, advice and help with paperwork.

Suzanne Steele for passing on her children’s books.

Elizabeth Grote for shelves and innumerable touches.

Teresa Quiñónes for her enthusiasm and a great tour of Ventana Abiertas in Dueñas.

Mónica and the staff at Ventana Abiertas for inspiring us.

Rigoberto and everybody at Probigua for the afternoon in Alotenango.

Cándido López and COCODE San Antonio for sharing their room and use of their Association.

Fernando Villalta for taking on the responsibility of president of the Job Vuh committee.

Herbert for being a great vice-president.

Soraya Marín for her secretarial skill and expertise.

All the vocales who attend the Job Vuh meetings.

domingo, 3 de junio de 2007

About Us

What Is Caldo de Piedra?

Caldo de Piedra is a charity that manages and stocks children's libraries. These libraries are operated by parents and the community in support of local public and private schools to help girls and boys discover that learning is part of their lives. We believe in education in its broadest sense, where books are at the heart of an array of creative and artistic projects that engage children in a love of learning.

In Guatemala there are over 15,000 public schools and 4.3 million children. However, most children attend school for only three years, and about half are in first grade (age six). Despite recent efforts to improve education, Guatemala devotes the fewest resources in Latin America towards this end (only 2.5% of GDP) while Costa Rica and Belize invest double in their children’s future. Recent studies have shown that secondary school numeracy and literacy are poor. Parents often do not participate in schoolwork and stay away from the schools. The future of the educational system in Guatemala hinges on the partnering between parents, the community and their local teachers. This is where Stone Soup provides a powerful bridge.

We are partners with La Casa del Libro, a highly acclaimed charity that stimulates reading. Building upon the success of the project, we are expanding to small towns and villages in Sacatepéquez, Guatemala.

Why Children’s Books?
  • Reading is the key medium for lifelong learning.
  • Reading develops children’s language ability, critical thinking and nurtures their imagination.
  • Reading gives children more confidence and enables them to express their opinions.
  • Children are more receptive than adults to learning – and have more leisure time than most adults.
  • Reading is a means to children understand their own culture, history and language.
Why a Children’s Library?
  • A library offers children a safe alternative to the street.
  • A facility designed for children is more welcoming than the more formal, silent atmosphere of an adult library.
  • A library provides a venue conducive to other learning projects, e.g. arts, music, drama, computer, film, story-telling, poetry readings.
  • A library provides a place where services can be offered to the community, e.g. visiting doctors, dentists, health workers, environmental advisors and teachers.
  • A borrowed book is a valuable tool for enriching family life and teaching children to be responsible for loaned items.

Our Vision

Our vision is that all children in Guatemala, regardless of sex, religion, race, or educational level, should have the opportunity to access books and other resources which are taken for granted in the developed world, in order to develop a love of learning.

Mission Statement

We aim to support the creation of community-operated children’s libraries that augment school education by improving literacy and providing a wealth of creative projects . We want to involve parents and the community in their children’s learning process and to make this sustainable through training local librarians.

How We Operate
  • We meet members of communities that are interested in hosting a library.
  • We obtain a commitment from the community to obtain a centrally located building or a plot of land on which to build the library, and to hire a local librarian.
  • A steering committee is formed by members of the community.
  • Caldo de Piedra supplies books, seed funding, computers, and additional facilities e.g. educational materials, playground.
  • In conjunction with the community we create a quality environment for children.
  • Librarian and other members of the community receive training on educational techniques through our partners.
  • We work with the community to replace and augment the library’s books and other materials.

Sources of Funding
  • Private national and international donations for facilities.
  • Book donations or funding.
  • Hiring out function room for films, art installations, meetings, playgroups, adult education classes, internet access, printing facilities.
  • Tiered sponsor membership.
  • Community funding of the librarian.
Who We Are

Kyle Passarelli

Kyle was born in Guatemala and trained as an engineer at the University of Colorado. He has rendered illustrations for textbooks and worked as a project manager at an electronics company in Edinburgh, Scotland. He obtained a masters degree from Heriot Watt University in 2007 and has contributed work to an academic journal.

Cassandra Passarelli

Born in London, Cassandra ran a successful bakery for ten years. She spent two years managing a charity working with inner-city children at risk and three as a magazine sub-editor. She did her degree in literature at the University of London, a post-graduate in Journalism at LCP and a masters in creative writing at the University of Edinburgh. Her short stories have won literary prizes in the UK.

viernes, 25 de mayo de 2007


Job Vuh Library, San Antonio
3era Avenida 1-1 zona 2
San Antonio Aguas Calientes
Guatemala, Central America
Tel. (502) 4137 7199

lunes, 21 de mayo de 2007

How to Donate

Thank you for your generous support for Caldo de Piedra! We accept book donations at the following addresses:

In the USA:

Caldo de Piedra
P.O. Box 527270 Section 17
Miami, FL 33152-7270

From elsewhere:

Caldo de Piedra
Pasaje Rubio No. 12
Antigua Guatemala
Guatemala, C.A.