The Delta`s Library in Tigre

The Felicaria Library turns 50 years old on October 1, 2008 and, ever since its foundation, it has moved over one million books from one side of the islands to the other, and none of them ever got wet to the hands of a child.

The Delta islands shelter unique, incredible stories that could never be repeated anywhere else.

It is known that the islands have gone through different periods: everything from their manifestation and the Belle Epóque up to oblivion and resurgence, the stage it seems to be undergoing at present. But ever since oblivion to our days, there have been those who saw in the Delta the possibility to improve not only their own life quality but also the islanders’, men and women who have been neglected by the State.

History Goes

The main reason for this story lies in the will signed by Genoveva Germana Agripina Lattuga. Genoveva was born in Paris in 1896 and was married to Absalón Rojas, brother of writer and historian Ricardo Rojas.

On April 1, 1958, she bequeathed her 38 hectares in Felicaria Creek to fulfill her dream: helping islanders with health and culture matters with an urgent care facility and a library. She passed away some months later, on May 1.

  • History Goes

    History Goes

  • Genoveva Germana Agripina Lattuga

    Genoveva Germana Agripina Lattuga

  • We have reached the Felicaria Library

    We have reached the Felicaria Library

  • A small library lost in the Delta

    A small library lost in the Delta

“…which will be called Absalón Rojas after my husband, who loved the islanders so much, and the library will be named Santa Genoveva to pay tribute to the Patron Saint of Paris, my home town”. It was also her wish that the land was not divided or alienated under any kind of title that would impede the ultimate purpose of the benefit in favor of “the islanders”.

Thus, the need to create the Sociedad de Fomento Vecinal Arroyo Felicaria (Felicaria Creek Neighbors Association) and the Santa Genoveva Popular Library arose. The neighbors of Felicaria Creek and its surroundings, led by Miss Marjorie Clements, gathered and fervently gave shape to a new organization.

The Beginning of the Library

The Sociedad de Fomento Vecinal Arroyo Felicaria was founded on October 1, 1958. Shortly afterwards, the urgent care facility and the library were inaugurated in what used to be the Rojas house.

The health center turned out to be a model of medical assistance on the islands, where the neighbors association focused all its energy, taking care of the operation and maintenance of the building, of obtaining the necessary equipment, instruments, medicines and managing excellent assistance. The library was started with the books owned by Genoveva, kept like a treasure in their original glass cabinets, and it was located in the waiting room of the urgent care facilities.

In addition to the work done by Miss Clements (who has passed away), her niece Victoria and several neighbors from the island contributed with this enterprise. Some of them are Guillermina, Dori, Gerardo, Lía, Michael and many more neighbors for whom the library, and especially its activities and actions, is part of their daily lives and of their eagerness to help others.

It was not until 1999 that the library was given strong impulse, which led to the acknowledgement of this institution by the CONABIP (Comisión Nacional Protectora de Bibliotecas Populares) (National Committee for the Protection of Public Libraries) and the Dirección Provincial de Bibliotecas Públicas (Provincial Department of Public Libraries). Thus, it became known by other libraries in our country and the world.

The Library, More Alive than Ever

Visitors must take a commuter launch at the Tigre river station that will take them down to Felicaria Creek, located in the Second Section of the Delta Islands, less than 2-hours’ navigation away.

Once almost all the passengers got off the launch, the captain said: “We have reached the Felicaria Library”. A small building painted in attractive colors gave notice that we had arrived. No sooner had we got on the pier than somebody came to welcome us with open arms.

On Saturday mornings, dozens of children gather there to learn English. The teacher is Victoria Clements, who after the lesson joins the meeting of the neighbors association, in which everything done during the week is revised and the dates to complete future tasks are arranged.

Thus, works were done to provide the islands with electricity, telephone services, mail and a higher frequency of commuter launches and other services which represent the simple rights of every citizen in the large cities. After a great effort, Internet is reaching the islands and the library will soon have this service available for the islanders.

The Talk of Town

Nowadays, there are fourteen schools on the Delta islands (they have kindergarten and elementary levels) and there is only one high school and one school for children with special needs. The Felicaria Library provides books for all of them, with an exceptional special feature: books are distributed by launch or canoe and, many times, personal loans are done on an annual basis, so that the child may have the book during the entire school period.

Hardly anything for a small library lost in the Delta supported by the regular and extraordinary payments made by the members, with monthly subsidies provided by the Dirección Provincial de Bibliotecas Públicas and the Conabip.

Autor Pablo Etchevers Fotografo Pablo Etchevers

Contact of the excursion or tour

Biblioteca Santa Genoveva

Arroyo Felicaria s/n - Islas de San Fernando, Tigre, Buenos Aires, Agentina

Phone Phone: +54 11-47281735

Tour typeTour type: Visit to the Delta Library
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