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Barra de Navidad & Melaque Journal – March 12, 2016

For Bibliophiles

When Leone Ewoldt built her house in Villa Obregon in 2006, she had a room made for a book exchange because of her love of reading and sharing books with others. Having sold everything, including hundreds of books when she left Seattle, her new little room soon filled up and the book exchange overflowed into her garage. 

“I "I named it Cuba Libro because I like to play with words,” she says. “Libro means book and Cuba libre is one of my favorite cocktails.” 

With help from many volunteers, Ewoldt has been able to keep her book exchange open year-round. Cuba Libro is located at the end of Calle Hidalgo in Villa Obregon, in front of the water fountain on the cul-de-sac near the lagoon. Hours are Monday to Friday (high season) and Monday, Wednesday and Friday (low season), 4-6 p.m. When not reading, Ewoldt runs Lee Own and Rent, another play on words. “It helps people remember how to pronounce my name.” Ewoldt is an AMPI and NAR member. Contact her at (315) 100-7587, or go to leeownandrent.com.

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Bob Baham’s book collection includes the classy and trashy. Ranked “the best English language library in the Mexican Pacific” circa 1990 in a travel handbook, Baham started this library in his home in 1985, with 50 books, which grew to 4,000 volumes, most donated by expats. He first used tomato crates to organize them all by subject. Although Baham died in 2006, his legacy endures. John Perkins, a neighbor and one of a few caretakers of the book collection, remembers Bob as “a novel character who opened up to you right away.”  

Beer Bob’s Book Exchange consists of a brick annex with a single aisle wide enough to allow two visitors at a time. Lending policy is “Bring one. Take one.” Find it on  Calle Tampico in Barra de Navidad. Open noon-5 p.m. Tom Lymbery, author of “Tom’s Gray Creek – a Kootenay Lake Memoir,” will be donating a copy of his book to Beer Bob’s.

Help a Student

Sixteen-year-old Maria Angeles, youngest in a family of six, graduated from Secundaria (middle school) in 2015. Although an A student, her parents needed her to leave behind her desire for further education and start working to supplement family income. Her father is a local fisherman and her mother makes and sells various small ticket items. 

Becas por Barra (Scholarships for Barra) appeared in Angela’s life at precisely the right moment. Selected by Becas founding members, Wilf Brousseau and Linda Bello-Ruiz, in April 2015, Angela is the first student to receive a scholarship toward higher education. She met the criteria for funding with her good behavior, excellent grades and economic need. Angela still had to convince her parents so she agreed to work after school, on weekends, and holidays.

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Now enrolled at a local trade school studying hospitality services, Angela’s daily schedule is very busy starting at 5:30 a.m., completing her school commitments at 6 p.m., when she begins her job as chef assistant and waitress at a sushi restaurant in Barra. Her busy day ends near midnight. She practices soccer, her other passion, on Saturday mornings, her only day off. She is just one young person in the community determined to get an education. 

For more information on Becas for Barra, contact Linda, tel. (315) 355-8405.

New Members Welcome

Rotary International is 111 years old while Costalegre Rotary, chartered in 2008, enters its ninth year. Its ethical yardstick, The Four Way Test, keeps the club growing. Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Truth, of course, is relative and the final test is in the doing. President Jess Castillo and the membership thank the community for their contribution of any resources and remind all there is a pressing need to increase the number of formal members. 

“We would like to prevent burn-out among our present very active members,” Castillo says. “In fact, the resource we need others to share the most with us is their time.” 

Costalegre Rotary offers unique features. The fee for membership is up to $US300 less than almost any club north of the border. That membership allows visits to all clubs internationally. Also, since members live part time or full time in the community, they experience first hand appreciation from locals, witnessing the results of the monies well spent. Another factor for some potential members is that English is spoken at Costalegre Rotary meetings. A Mexican member reminded his peers that their efforts have already raised much more than 1.3 million pesos for Pacific coast regional projects. 

Besides satisfaction in the amount amassed through fundraisers that fully goes into community projects, Costalegre Rotary’s wealth increases through the enjoyment of the team work and social play that accounts for funds being available for both emergency or maintenance. Contact the P.R. chairperson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..