Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, Environment, People & Places » Rekindling a Love of Reading in San Antonio
Nov 18, 2022

Rekindling a Love of Reading in San Antonio

Sabreena Daly travelled to San Antonio village, Cayo in search of this week’s look on the bright side and she found it in the story of community members coming together for a common goal. A fight against the challenges brought on by COVID was all it took to get the fire burning. The orchestrators of this project? Two neighbours introducing themselves to each other.


Delmar Tzib

Delmar Tzib, San Antonio resident
Well, in the late 1900’s and early 2000’s, there was a project to open a library here in the community. I believe that this building was built by Rally International. Initially it opened its doors and had been functioning for some time but I could say that it went dormant. I really cannot explain the reasons because I was too young at that time, but it has been a constant battle to try to bring the library back to life.”


What you are seeing was once an internet café in San Antonio, Cayo. For over a decade, it’s been a home for bats and insects, a shelter that once provided services to residents of the village. That’s until two neighbors had a sit down. Rosa Perez met Monica Seidl, a new resident to the community. When Monica asked what she could do for her new neighbor, Rosa had one answer.

Rosa Perez

Rosa Perez, San Antonio Resident
I told her “Education”. The kids might need a tutor because we don’t have face to face classes. She said, “A library? Will that work? Would that be good for the village?” Yes. So we started with that.”


Rosa’s request came as a result of the educational challenges brought on by Covid-19. This was two years ago. Students were confined to their homes and in a community where some children still don’t have access to internet, her vision was to help everyone.

Monica Seidl

Monica Seidl, San Antonio Resident
You know that was the amazing part of it, because it did start as a conversation and then it just started this ripple effect when you throw a stone into a pond. We then went to the village council and asked them if we could use the community center, then the suggestion was why not use this abandoned building that was right next door that used to be an internet café. Then it expanded to local teachers that said we’ll come in and we’ll wash it and we’ll clean it. And so, every time I was coming back, I was also bringing with me fifty-pound suitcases of laptops, of educational materials, books, anything I can get donated here in the US, I would pack in my suitcases to bring down there.”

Aaron Tzib

Aaron Tzib, San Antonio Chairman
Reading and learning is big. Everyone needs to keep on because if we don’t read, we don’t talk. We’re Mayas but we still need to learn English.”


Frank Tzib, a resident, offered his community service by giving the library a name statement through the indigenous Mayan hieroglyphics.

Frank Tzib

Frank Tzib, Resident
So, here we have Na, which is house. Nah-hi makes it house of. And then we have to come all the way here to see the other glyph. So, we have Na-hi, then we have the logogram again which is a picture word. So by looking at this, we know that it is a snake. The Maya word for snake will be Kan. So, Kan, Ba, Li. So, Nah-hi Kan Bal. It’s a house where we learn.”


It’s a celebration of a milestone for the community of San Antonio. The two-year journey took community members with the same vision on a quest to enable the youth with a space to learn during Covid. From concept, to learning center, to library. What did it take? All hands-on deck.

Delmar Tzib
At that point we experienced people just stopping by, farmers stopping by and giving some donations to the library and what was then the learning center. We had people coming in, giving some cash and saying buy water, do something with the money in order for the building to come forward. During discussions we invited the library services to come and talk about what are the possibilities of opening a library.”


And if the bright side is not seeing the joy on the faces of these little community members, it might just be the power of visionaries—two neighbors and an entire village that was waiting for this good news.

Delmar Tzib
Really, the life of this community will come alive with this library, breathing air into this building. Bringing the children, bringing the adults, creating interaction  is what will make this library be and continue for the future.”


Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed