New digital library to bring opportunity to youth of San Salvador
August 16, 2019
Thousands of youth in San Salvador will soon have a new way to spend their time off the streets and learning new skills. On Aug. 13, construction began on a modern, digital library in the capital city’s second largest municipal part, a result of a collaboration between the MCN Build Foundation in Washington, D.C., the San Salvador mayor’s office and CREA Consultores El Salvador.
The library collaboration emerged out of a 2018 Sister City agreement between the U.S. capital city and Salvadoran capital city. The agreement aims to improve economic development, youth development, public safety, sustainability, culture, education and government collaboration in both cities.
The MCN Build Foundation is financing a major portion of the $450,000 library project, covering 80 percent of the construction. The San Salvador mayor’s office is financing the remaining 20 percent. CREA Consultores, a Creative Associates International subsidiary, will implement the project, procuring products and services for construction and developing activities for citizen engagement in the library.
San Salvador’s Mayor Ernesto Muyshondt commended its sister city and welcomed this collaboration.
“We are very grateful for the support to our sister city, Washington, D.C. and to the MCN Build Foundation for making this project a reality. It will be very beneficial to thousands of youth in this city,” he said. “This is definitely a reflection of the good relations we’ve established with different funders and opens our doors to other friend cities.”
On behalf of Rudy Seikaly, president and CEO of the MCN Build Foundation, Michael Waidmann, the foundation’s director, thanked the mayor for his vision and constant support for this project, which will include an array of amenities and a vast number of books.
Waidmann explained, “The library will be of about 375 sq. meters with free WIFI, 30-plus personal computers and more than 10,000 analog and digital books, as well as an area to focus on science, technology, arts and math.”
He added that there are plans to include a section of the library dedicated to children, including an outdoor play area, and that they will eventually add a coffee shop and a welcome plaza, while “always respecting the ecosystem and natural beauty of the park.”
For the mayor’s office, MCN Build and CREA Consultores, the library represents a window of opportunity for youth to develop skills and access tools and knowledge to navigate daily challenges and prepare for the workforce.
As Mayor Muyshondt said, “Our present and our future is in our youth. That is why we need to generate spaces so they can work and have better opportunities.”