San Pablo/ San Jose Community

San Pablo/San Jose is a village in the Orange Walk District. The village is well known for its Mayan site of Nohmul (High Hill).

The history of San Pablo/San Jose community library is an interesting one. A number of people have given generously in time, monetary contribution, books, and effort so that the reality of a small rural library could be made possible.

The San Pablo R.C. School had acquired some books from the International Book Project USA, C.O.D.E. in Canada and a donation of a set of encyclopedia from a teacher who had taught at the school and was now living in the USA.

The idea of a school library came as three senior members of the school namely Miss. Estelita Rodriguez Principal, Mr. Pablo Mesh and Mrs. Guadalupe Vargas discussed the possibility of a small library, since the school had some books to begin with. The problem was that there was no extra room to shelf the books. This was around February/March 1992. Luckily at this time the school had a very active P.T.A. with its Chairman Mr. Bernardo Marin from San Pablo Village; also a Peace Corp Volunteer Mrs. Conway was helping at the school in San Jose and San Pablo Village and the P.T.A. asked for her help in the matter of a school library.

At a P.T.A. meeting held in March 1992 where the Peace Corps Volunteer was present, it was decided that Mr. Pablo Mesh a senior staff member who was also going on vacation leave in April to June 1992 liaise with the Peace Corps in trying to obtain a grant from USAID and work on the library project. Therefore, through the efforts of Mrs. Marty Conway who traveled to Belize with Mr. Mesh, they applied for the grant and by May 1992 USAID approved $3,000. Bz for the library project.

A meeting was held soon after with the P.T.A. and high school students for help in manual labor. A mason was found in the village and on Sunday in May 1992, a group of students and P.T.A. members came out to dig the foundation for the small building.

The building was completed by October 1992. Mention needs to be made of Mr. Santiago Rosado PUP candidate for Orange Walk North who helped us with cement and Hon. Florencio Marin Deputy Prime Minister who lobbied for $600. worth of books from British High Commissioner, also Mr. Nicholas Jackson VSO Librarian helped us with the list of books. These books were donated in April 1993.

The inauguration of the library was held in January 1993. The school library became part of the National Library Service in April 1993. Mr. Pablo Mesh served as a volunteer. The first Community-Librarian was Miss. Carmelita Mesh from 1994-2002. Mr. Pablo Mesh, a retired teacher, is at present the Community Librarian.