Sunday, March 15, 2015

Casa de la Cacica: Libros Para Ninos y Ninas

 There was a superb surprise awaiting us in Teposcolula - after we visited the restored Dominican Templo y Ex-Convento de San Pedro and San Pablo. Casa de la Cacica is a few blocks up a small incline from the cathedral. Built in the 16th century as a Mixteca palace, it was the home of a Mixteca leader/priestess/important woman. It has been beautifully restored with support from the Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation Oaxaca and the National Institute of Anthropology and History. 
Mixtec history and iconography displayed on the top shelf.
After a decade of reconstruction, the reclaimed palace opened in 2013 as a library for children and youth. The interior is sublime, each space suited to its new purpose of welcoming children of all ages into the world of reading and learning. The rooms are elegant and practical. Each shelf, table and chair is suited to its space. 
The reading room for very small children has a soft floor covering and two of those wooden trucks that I saw for sale by the side of the highway.
There is a computer room, so children can explore on-line. What a gift to this community  - a slice of indigenous history that incorporates 21st century technology. 
There are sex education books on a shelf, right there for anyone to pick up and read. I hope they are being read time and again. I doubt we'd find such books in much of Texas.
I took photos and thought of my librarian/archivist daughter. She'd have loved visiting Casa de la Cacica and knowing it was the former palace of a Mixteca priestess.

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