Building Libraries in the Amazon

When Luti was 16, he travelled to Marajo Island, in the Amazon region, close to where I was staying in Belem.

This journey changed the course of his life.

Luti and I met in Rio, and he told me about his experience. It lead to him spending the next 4 years working on projects to benefit for the community he visited.

“I wanted to give them the same opportunities that I had. These are not the indigenous tribes of the Amazon, they are the poor, rural communities of Brazil.  People living without energy, or clean water, schools or hospitals.”

Luti, and the organisation he started called Lute Sem Fronteiras (Fight Without Borders) has brought libraries, agricultural education, micro-finance and a new school to the communities they work with.

 “Nobody would say that I can do this, at 16, or 17 or 18 years old, but I have”

And don’t forget – Luti is still only 20 years old, and a full time law student. He started fundraising when he returned from his first trip to the region, to build one library for the community, and with Luti’s efforts, it has grown into a project that the communities own.

One of Luti’s favourite aspects, is that after his organisation built the first library, or started one agricultural education program in a community, it is up to the people of that community to do the same again for someone else.  So the members of one village travel down the river, and with support from Lute Sem Fronterias, help the next community built a library, or improve their agricultural methods.

It’s through this route that Lute Sem Fronterias has been the driving force behind the construction of 5 new libraries.  The first one was of course the hardest, but by approaching a similar project run by Brazilian company, Luti was able to form a partnership and deliver the first building and batch of books.

With his success, and through presenting his work at different events, Luti has made useful connections with entrepreneurs, who are mentoring him, and encouraging him to think even bigger. The first school is still under construction, but Luti is confident all will go to plan.

“If you are waiting for someone to tell you that you can do something, you’ll be waiting all your life.

Don’t wait for someone to tell you that you can do something like this. Just start. I did, and now it’s really helping people

Every journey changes the course of our lives, so chose your journeys carefully.

How do you want your next journey to change your life, and the life of others?

kids on the croc

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