Jose Alberto Gutierrez, a garbage man who lives in Bogota, Colombia, has been collecting books that were thrown away for 20 years. He lives in the low-income neighborhood of La Nueva Gloria barrio in southern #Bogota. Gutierrez started his collection when he realized local children have to drop out of school and start working early because they can’t afford books.
Today, the entire ground floor of his house is filled with 25000 books and counting. It has turned into a community library called La Fuerza de las Palabras (Spanish for “The Strength of Words”), run by his family.
The library has become a fixture of the community; Gutierrez has been profiled in the media and invited to book fairs. An old, donated ambulance has been converted into a bookmobile. There are plans for a brick-and-mortar location for the library in the future.