The American Booksellers Association arranged for booksellers, authors, and publishers attending its Winter Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to donate Spanish-language books for refugees waiting at the U.S.–Mexico border.
ABA’s Libros Para el Viaje (“Books for the Journey”) book drive at the Winter Institute collected books of all genres for children and adults to be distributed to families, individuals, parents, and children who have arrived at the southern border from Central America and Mexico.
The idea for the drive originated with Denise Chávez, owner of Casa Camino Real Book Store and Art Gallery in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Since summer 2018, Chávez has been distributing books to refugees in her hometown of Las Cruces via Peace Lutheran Church, under the direction of the Border Servant Corps, a refugee hospitality center that partners with other centers in the region.
Chávez has created a detailed list of specific guidelines for booksellers, authors, and publishers to follow when it comes to choosing the right Spanish-language books. In addition, Veronica Liu, founder of Word Up Community Bookshop in Washington Heights, New York, and BrocheAroe Fabian, owner of the River Dog Book Co. bookmobile in Wisconsin, have come up with their own lists of books, which are now posted on BookWeb.
Chávez is working with local volunteers to distribute the books to refugees staying at local hospitality centers that connect refugees with their sponsors.
Booksellers and others are invited to email Chávez (firstname.lastname@example.org) with more book suggestions.