Libros Para El Viaje
Our commitment is to deliver books to our children, young people, and adults, wherever they are housed. – Denise Chávez
Casa Camino Real Bookstore and Border Servant Corps began distributing books to refugee families in 2018 through its joint program: Libros Para El Viaje (Books for the Journey). We believe that a book can transcend borders – real and imagined – between people of all ages and backgrounds. We believe that books uplift, support, and empower. We are committed to sharing quality literature with those who might not otherwise have the present resources to obtain books. Libros Para El Viaje provides books to people in Hospitality Centers on both sides of the borderlands to share the wealth and blessing of literature, culture, and art.
Libros Para El Viaje has a commitment for the Good. We believe that the Journey has been given to us—to each of us in our own personal way—and that through that Journey we encounter the Good and Strong and Resilient in Each Other.
How to Contribute
Bring or send books to Casa Camino Real Bookstore (314 S Tornillo St, Las Cruces, NM 8800), using the following guidelines:
Become a Book Steward
Are you a community member passionate about connecting people with inspiring, life-giving books? Learn more here:
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Books & Bread
"Yo, si tuviera hambre y estuviera desvalido en la calle no pediría un pan; sino que pediría medio pan y un libro."
– Federico García Lorca, Inauguración de la Biblioteca de Fuente Vaqueros, Granada, España, 1931
"I, if I were hungry and helpless on the street, I would not ask for a loaf; I would ask for half a loaf and a book."
– Federico García Lorca, Inauguration of the Fuente Vaqueros Library, Granada, Spain, 1931
On a warm Tuesday morning, Denise Chávez – local author, bookstore owner & community activist – entered the Hospitality Center and brought with her "Libros Para El Viaje." She carefully arranged cart-loads of books on a set of round tables in a large room where families were eating breakfast and invited the families to join her.
One Honduran mother made her way to the newly-evolving Libros Library and took in the sight. "What beautiful books,"* she whispered. "They're for you," responded Denise. After carefully looking through all that was before her, the woman gently picked up 3 Isabel Allende books and queried, "May I take all three?" Without hesitation, Denise confirmed, "Of course!"
Later that day, when it was time for the woman to get ready to go to the bus station to travel to meet her sponsor, she laid out all of the items she intended to pack: Food, clothing, toiletries, immigration documents & items, and books. She looked from her backpack to her items – back and forth – and stood with a concerned look on her face.
A volunteer approached and the woman shared, "I am a teacher, and I know I still have quite a long journey ahead of me. The items I have before me are all so important and I don't seem to have the room to fit everything in my bags. I think I have to make a choice. But how to choose between food for my body and food for my soul?" "Fortunately," the volunteer said as they walked to acquire another bag, "you don't have to."
*Dialogue translated from Spanish.