Puerto Plata, DR
The Cultural Renovation Society of Puerto Plata was founded 93 years ago, being the oldest entity in the country with the mission to promote literature and the preservation of the historical memory of that city.
Alma Banks, director of this library, commented that after the pandemic, the attendance of readers has decreased, but that the users who frequent the library are interested in research on specific topics such as leadership, psychology, novels, history, world literature, among others.
He also highlighted the activities of this public entity to promote reading, such as visits to educational centers, book donations in public and private places, and a reading club through which members and interested parties are offered the opportunity to take books home on loan.
Others that promote
With the commitment to stimulate reading in society and enrich vocabulary, Yasmin Cid created a movement called Literando RD, a philanthropic project dedicated to promoting reading and writing in the Dominican Republic through book donations and free workshops on reading comprehension, creative writing, and narrative.
In addition, Cid seeks to stimulate the analysis of various works and authors, improve reading comprehension and encourage people with specific motor or cognitive disabilities. This literary movement also reaches the schools of the Bride of the Atlantic.
Another place where they motivate people to feel a great passion for the art of reading is in the educational center Hogar Escuela Luisa Ortea, where the director Johanna Silverio highlighted the abundance of books that they have on the premises and that they even have a shelf with varied texts, from children’s stories to books of all areas for their students.
Silverio listed the different incentive programs they carry out, such as the “Project Read” from the Ministry of Education, the book fair in April, the participation in workshops, with some of their students winning, and the readings aloud in the classrooms with a microphone, as a way of motivating them to read correctly.
The inspiration to discover a magical world through the written word, the need to tell experiences and to lend their voice to others, was the muse for these people to become writers.
The writer and poet Johanna Goede considers the implementation of more bookstores to be opportune, not only in Puerto Plata but throughout the country, because in her opinion, a bookstore should be as crucial as a pharmacy or a supermarket, since books “cure ignorance, feed the intellect and broaden the worldview.”
As for the culture of reading in that city, she points out that she was a juror in the reading Olympics and was always surprised by the number of works read by the participants. Although it is no longer consumed as it used to be, she believes it is an inherent pleasure of human beings.
For his part, Pedro Santana, who is based in New York and received an honorable mention in a Latino Writers contest in the United States, argues that the reading level has decreased due to online reading and that movies have replaced books. “Reading is turning letters into words and words into images. Therefore, whoever reads takes ownership of language, which is the way we understand the world,” argued Santana.
In that order, the poet Pablo Rodriguez comments that due to the increase of virtual reading, many bookstores and libraries have disappeared as a space for the recreation of the imagination. The current generation has been distracted by the banal.
It should be noted that Rodriguez has a large community of poets and writers in the Luperon municipality of this city to create a space for creation where they share their experiences and encourage the production of written works.
“We left the name of the country high in the Book Fair of Madrid and New York, besides the creation of the Pablo Rodriguez Reading Club ascribed to Editora Santuario for the publication of books of our members,” he emphasized.
He expects to continue giving a clear example of the importance of reading and writing with the participation of its members in national and international fairs and to continue training those new talents who see literature as a fundamental part of society.