Making a Difference: The Baja Blues Fest and ‘Amigos De Las Bibliotecas’

ROSARITO, Mexico – “We have a great party for three day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and everything after the expenses that we have to pay we split between the four children’s charities,” says Jackie Alameda, Baja Blues Fest organizer.

One such charity that we had the pleasure of visiting was ‘Amigos De Las Bibliotecas’ or ‘Friends of the Library’. With the help of the Baja Blues Fest proceeds, their reading program supports five local libraries in Rosarito.

“Our programs are all aimed at promoting reading and literacy particularly for kids in Rosarito, and we do that by buying books and supplies for all the libraries,” says Allen Browne, Friends of the Library founder.

They have a number of reading and tutoring programs for kids and families within the library. But Allan says nothing get kids more excited about reading than through contests and games.

“We have a competition like Jeopardy with the little electronic equipment to ‘Ehhhhh!’ kind of thing, and the kinds compete with questions from the books they’ve read,” says Browne.

Chelsea live in the area but goes to school in the U.S. tells us, she always needs a good place to read.

“The books, yeah because they are so interesting. Some are about stories, some physics, and stuff like that,” says Chelsea.

Renee: “What is your favorite subject or topic to read about?”

“Space I think. I really like to read about the stars,” she says.

Now the Baja Blues Festival has done some much for libraries already, but they still have a long way to go. Chelsea says she wants to see more things here than just books.

Chelsea says, “I think new tables, new computers, more books.”

But it’s no small request, even with individual donations; events like the Baja Blues Fest are making a huge impact on providing the basic necessities in advancing childhood education.

“We work with the Baja Blues Fest because their mission is the same as ours. Getting kids involved in good activities, and trying to promote the welfare and their education,” says Browne.

Together both the festival and ‘Friends of the Library’ are making a difference.

Browne concludes, “Kids, boys, particularly boys who from a year to four, who’ve had no interest in reading at all, become addicted to the stories they read and excited about it. It’s just the best feeling.”

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