Changing Lives through Information in Central America

Paco Alcaide

Regional Director

Paco has served as the Riecken Foundation’s Regional Director in Honduras and Guatemala since 2011. Starting in 2005, Paco served as Riecken’s Chief Librarian. He is a specialist in the area of Libraries and Archives for community development. He has over twenty years of experience working with civil society and community development. Paco has served as a specialist and consultant for non-governmental organizations in Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Paco has a Master’s degree in Cultural Management/Administration from the University of Alcalá (Spain), a Postgraduate Degree in Community-Based Cultural Policies from Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO), and as a Librarian from the University of Granada (Spain).

“For a librarian like myself, to be able to belong to an institution that promotes public libraries in isolated Central American communities is to find meaning in a profession that in the last few years, with all of the technological impacts, has been questioned by various sectors. It is common to hear that Internet will be the end of public libraries, but it is not so. Internet has made libraries even more important as a place where people can go, not only to have access and learn appropriate use of information, but where they can also present solutions to current local problems. Beyond a mere place to read, libraries are places where a person can meet with friends, a place that offers an opportunity for a person to get to know themselves, and a place where a person can freely express themselves and participate in projects that improve the quality of life of their communities. Much more than access to technology, education, and culture; the Riecken community libraries are spaces to build strong citizens and leaders and for a librarian, such as myself, the opportunity to reach their personal and professional potential.”