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English class reads at library

Fifth- and six-grade English classes at the Guayabo Primary School come to the library during class as their schedules permit  for a reading hour or storytelling and conversation with  an English speaker. We usually use the bilingual books that have been donated to the library--thank you to the donors. The English professor, shown here in center, teaches twice a week and is enthusiastic about the opportunity the library offers to his students.

Reading hour for schoolchildren

Since July 2014, schoolchildren come to the Curt Thomas Sheck Community Library during their reading period at the Colonia de Guayabo primary school, a three-minute walk away, to read books as an initiative of Marcos Sandoval Sánchez, the school principal, to improve the students’ reading and comprehension.

The school’s three classrooms open onto a common covered porch. The “windows” are concrete blocks with small round openings for light and air (no glass here), so noise is a given. The library offers a space more conducive to concentration and colorful, interesting books to choose from. Classes alternate for the once-a-week visit throughout the school year.

Women stitching way to new possibilities


Since April 2014, the sounds of crocheting and quiet laughter have added to the growing energy of the Curt Thomas Sheck Community Library. Once a week, four to 14 women gather, some bringing babies and small children, to crochet under the direction of community member Carmen Brenes Aguilar.

What began as a workshop has also became a social event and now the seeds have been “sewn” for a small cooperative business. Several class members have already received orders from others: elegant blouses, baby clothes, scarves, one-of-a kind children’s dresses. Conversations currently are about a style show and a Facebook page for marketing. We’ll keep you posted.

Costa Rica's minister of culture 


On Feb. 13, 2015, Elizabeth Fonseca Corrales, head of the Ministry of Culture and Youth for Costa Rica, was at the Curt Thomas Sheck Community  Library for  a meeting with representatives of the community about the proposal of an interactive  museum to highlight the archaeological history of Colonia de Guayabo up to the current inhabitants of this same land.

Presentations were made by Jorge Fernandez, president of the Colonia de Guayabo Development Association and Bob Oldham, president of the Tayutic Foundation, which has developed architectural and operational plans for the museum, which the community proposes to be located next to the library.


Also present from the ministry  were Luis Carlos Amador Brenes, administrative vice minister; Hugo Pineda Villegas, museum advisor; and Jose Loria of the press office, who made the photos available to us. Representatives of various community boards were present, including  Ree Sheck, president of the Curt Thomas Sheck Foundation and Osvaldo Salazar, president of FeProGuayabo, which administers the library, Also present was the director of Guayabo National Monument, Rodolfo Tenorio. 

Workshop on self-esteem for women


Sunday morning, Nov. 2, 2014, dawned bright and by 9 am women were gathering at the community library for a workshop on self-esteem, not quite knowing what to expect.


Sixteen women, children and young people traveled from San Jose to lead exploration of self-esteem through journaling, games, sharing and group activities. They brought handcrafts made mostly from recycled materials to sell and as proof of what can be accomplished by women working together. The event was sponsored by the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation and coordinated through the Colonia de Guayabo Development Association. 

Both surprising and insipirational for those who attended was that the leaders of the workshop were all Nicaraguan refugees who live in the notorious La Carpio slum and all had fled physical and emotional abuse in Nicaragua. 


A theatrical presentation ended the morning-long event. It was written by one of the women about her experience in Nicaragua, her remarkable journey to Costa Rica with her five hungry children and no money and her new life in her adopted country---performed by children and adults. 


This is the first of a series of workshops offered by the Humanitarian Foundation that the library hopes to host. 



Since "the proof is in the pudding," we invite you to browse the photo galleries for a glimpse into the life of the Curt Thomas Sheck Community library and of those to whom it makes a difference.  

Workshops and special events
Spurring creativity and imagination
Construction of the library that wanted
to be built
Groundbreaking: November 11, 2006

Celebrating three years


People of Guayabo and nearby communities gathered Saturday, April 26, 2014, to mark the third anniversary of the Colonia de Guayabo Community Library. Storytelling and face painting kicked off activities, thanks to local talent and a special guest from Limón, Emanuel Saborio, who read stories he had written. Action continued with a bit of theater on “The Day the Books Were Stolen” and songs and dances performed by Guayabo children. Highlights of the poetry hour included reading of a poem by Costa Rica’s foremost poet, Jorge de Bravo, who was born not far from Colonia de Guayabo, and recitation of an original poem by an eight-year-old boy. 

Neighbors donated and prepared food, sold throughout the day to raise funds for the library. Archaeologist Eduardo Castillo shared latest findings about  Guayabo National Monument, the nearby archaeological site dating back more than 2000 years before Christ. The strains of Celtic music played by Peregrino Gris, a well-known group from San José, came next. The celebration closed with a stellar performance by Carlos Velazco, a tenor who studied with Plácido Domingo and has sung in both Latin America and Europe. 

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