From romping and stomping with dinosaurs, to the finishing touches on the new Casa Búho library, to the first successful inauguration party, 2019 was packed with spectacular occurrences. So, we decided to reflect a bit on the Top 10 moments for Casa Búho in 2019 as we enter the new decade.
10. CASA BÚHO IN THE NUMBERS
Here at Casa Búho, we work hard to improve the literacy abilities and love of reading and exploration in the youth of Machalilla. Every year, we grow in support and in numbers, too! In 2019, we estimate that we reached between 80 to 100 youth, babies, toddlers, and parents.
9. GARAGE SALE
As a self-financed project, Casa Búho is always in need of funds for books, art materials, and odds and ends that always make reading exploration more enjoyable. In August, we were able to put together a successful garage sale with the help of our Mamas Búho and raised over $600 to put towards materials for our students in 2020!
8. VOLUNTEER TRANSITION
In August, we bid a bitersweet goodbye to our volunteer of 2 years, Trish. She helped us develop our “hora de creatividad” and opened the world of art up to the Casa Búho families and students, ensuring that they always had a creative outlet for exploration and enjoyment. At the same time, we welcomed a new volunteer who will be with us for the next 2 years, Ingrid. She is working on teaching art as well as develop systems for sustainability and education to improve the incredible work that Casa Búho is already doing.
7. VOLUNTEERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Casa Búho has always opened its doors to volunteers of all different backgrounds. In 2019, we were excited to meet 13 volunteers from Canada, Germany, and France. They helped us with a variety of projects, from constructing new tables for our students to teaching English in the local schools, (thanks, Franka!). As the word of Casa Búho spreads, we hope our volunteer network will continue to grow, as well.
6. MES DE DINOSAURIOS
February filled up with stomps and roars when Dinosaurs came to visit Casa Búho, one of our most successful “monthly themes.” Babies got their feet painted, students made dinosaur eggs and los pique made dinosaur headbands. Who could deny this month-long exploration through history and fossils a spot on our list?!
5. GLOW/BRO CAMP
The camp name GLOW/BRO stands for Girls Leading Our World and Boys Respecting Others. In 2019, we put together this camp with the support of many community leaders and participation of other community organizations- Clara Luna from Puerto Lopez and Fundación CRISFE from Machalilla. We held a sleep away camp for 45 students for a week in April so that they could learn about the differences in gender, the importance of respect and how to continue acting as young leaders while continuing to respect one another equally, sans machismo.
Casa Búho would not be the incredible space for learning and growth that it is today without the unwavering support of foundations like Solidarité Sud and Zonacuario that have provided us with donations from materials, to books, to magazines. Everything we receives goes straight into the hands of our students, eager to open the pages of a new book, explore the comics of a new magazine, or complete a new, wacky art project. We want to thank our donors that helped grow our library and student’s spirits in 2019!
3. REBUILDING CASA BÚHO, LOS CIRIALES
In late 2018, the new container that had just opened as Casa Búho’s second library was consumed by a terrible fire. The community of Machalilla and around the world came together quickly to ensure that the students wouldn’t be long without their new library. Thanks to a grant secured by Trish, and our partnerships around the world, the container was reconstructed by the end of May, 2019. A true testament to the strength and potential of our community!
2. FINISHING TOUCHES ON THE NEW LIBRARY
Before our inauguration party in November, we finished up the plans for the inside of the container library. We installed a wall of shelves, storage and spots for the students to cuddle up and read in. It helped us open up the space, provide the students with an area that feels more like home, and continue fulfilling our vision for Casa Búho.
1. FIESTA INAUGURACIÓN
On November 16, we celebrated Casa Búho. From opening the old container in 2018, to suffering the fire, to rebuilding in just 6 months, the families of Casa Búho helped us put together a fantastic celebration that lasted all afternoon. We presented a movie screening, guest speakers, an exposition of Kamishibai about the fire, and danced to music and ate food. We hope that Casa Búho is able to continue for many more years with the same vigor and support from our community, and people like you!