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Romeo Rodríguez
The Riecken Community Libraries
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I was born in Guatemala City in 1972.  After finishing high school in Guatemala I went to Vermont, USA, as an AFS exchange student, to attend the Senior Year in Springfield High School.  Back in Guatemala I joined the Rafael Landívar University and got a Bachelor degree in Marketing.  In the year 2004 I got a Master in Development and Decentralization from the Del Valle University in Guatemala.  In 2005 I moved to Madrid, where I got the International Master in Rural Development from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.  I came back to Guatemala in 2006.  During my university years in Guatemala I worked as a manager assistant in a family business.  In 2009 I left to Uganda, East Africa, to work as a volunteer in the Hope Child Care Program Organization, located in a small rural village called Bulanga.  The organization attends vulnerable children from this and surrounding villages by providing education, health services, spiritual guidance and agricultural basic training.  During my time over there I implemented a forestry project and organized an agricultural cooperative with local farmers.  After a few months of returning to Guatemala in mid 2010 I started working with the Riecken Community Libraries, which consists of a network of 64 libraries in Guatemala and Honduras.  These libraries not only offer free access to information through books and internet, but also provide new opportunities to all community members through programs, including cultural, technological and environmental projects, that foster leadership and citizen participation.  One of my roles, as a development officer, is to search alliances and partnerships for the organization's and the library network's growth and sustainability.