Biblioburro- the donkey library

A 10 minute version is available on DVD.

For the past ten years, Luis Soriano, a teacher in the small town of La Gloria, Colombia, has been following the same ritual. Every week-end, he gathers his donkey in front of his house, straps on the “Biblioburro” pouches to its back, and loads them with a selection of books from the eclectic collection he has acquired over the years. Off on his mobile library, he travels into the hills and through the fields to the villages beyond where children await his visits impatiently. He firmly believes that bringing books to people who don’t have access to them can improve the country and open up possibilities for the future generation of Colombia. 

He has also been working with his wife Diana to build La Gloria's first public library, where he will finally be able to display his collection of books properly.

Watch our video update here!

If you would like more information on how to help Luis, please contact us through this website!

To learn more about Luis, read this NY Times article by Simon Romero, that inspired our film.

And here is some extra background to Luis' story.

Similar initiatives have been created around the world, and hopefully as our film gets shown to communities around the world, from Mali to India, it will inspire many more. This one comes from Ethiopia, and here is a BBC article about it.

And here is one on Venezuela's Bibliomulas.

Acces to books is essential to reading development. Today, one in five adults worldwide is illiterate, and more than 100 million children are not currently enrolled in school. Visit the Literacy Site and click to donate free books for children!


I am currently watching this amazing story on pbs. Could you please send me the necessary information so that I can send a donation directly to Luis? This man is a hero, and I would love to support the wonderful mission he is on. My email address is Thank you so much!

Nice Post !

Soriano became fascinated with reading as a child and obtained a college degree in Spanish literature after studying with a professor who visited his village twice a month.A primary school teacher by profession,Soriano developed the idea after witnessing first-hand the power reading had on his students,most of whom had lived through intense life conflicts at a young age.Starting in the late 1990s, Soriano traveled to communities in Colombia's Caribbean Sea hinterlands with a portable library, which began with 70 books.Orange County Web Design

Great Video!

My prayers and hopes go out to Luis and any others that are helping out in his cause. This is such a wonderful and heartwarming video!

I have a quick question about the music, who sings it!? I absolutely love Vallenatos music and would be love to know musician in the very first 25 seconds of the video. Thanks! :)


Thanks for your comment - the music is  "El Mochuelo" by Adolfo Pacheco Anilo.

staying in contact...

Is there anyway to contact luis by email or phone?


What this man is doing for the kids is great except for one thing. How he treats his donkey is an abomanation. He loads the poor donkey with as many books as he can, books are very heavy, and then he jumps on too. This is very hard on a donkey's spine. He is teaching animal cruelty by example. The kids respect this man and will do the same thing.
Can't he build a cart or wagon for his poor friend? Donkeys suffer under a load like that and it will get worse for him as he ages.


What a wonderful idea of a cart--that way he could carry more books and an easier ride for him and the 2 donkeys spliting the load.


If you were as poor as this man, you might load your only donkey(s) down too. Please put away your perceptions based on your life and your opportunities. Send him some money to feed his donkeys or what ever he needs. Get involved.



The load is usually split

The load is usually split between two donkeys, Alfa and Beto. Unfortunately the day we were filming Beto was being used and so Alfa had to bear it all by herself. But I can assure you that Luis is very respectful of his animals, he treats them well, he cares for them, and they are not given any weight they can't handle.

If you would like to get in

If you would like to get in touch with Luis, please contact us directly!

Literacy Project

My godfather and I were inspired by Luis' efforts and we'd like to contribute some resources to his library. Can you help us get in touch with him regarding his needs?

I'm a non-profit professional working to increase educational opportunities for Latinos in Colorado and have volunteered with Child Aid in Guatemala in establishing libraries in highland, indigenous villages. I'm also bilingual and comfortable talking to Luis directly about how we can help him build capacity and sustainability with Biblio Burro.

Please let me know how I can contact him! My email is and my phone is 719-238-6497.

Thanks so much for highlighting this worthy cause!

Regarding book donations for Luis' future library

Loved this video, it was very inspiring. Luis is someone to be admired and respected for giving to his community. He is making a HUGE difference in these children's lives. Can books donated to the library be in english or spanish?

Spanish is better but both

Spanish is better but both would be greatly appreciated!


what kind of donations do you need - childrens books in spanish?

Great work!

Wow! what an amazing story. Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful story to light. All we hear from colombia is war/drugs yet people don't realize there are good people. People with hopes and dreams who want and are fighting to make a difference. KEEP THE GOOD WORK BIBlIOBURRO!

Great, moving video.

Too bad you aren't providing a way for those of us who can afford it to make a donation directly to helping build the library. Making a donation to your non-profit does not necessarily put money into the biblioburro man's hands to build his library.

How to make donations

Dear Anonymous, as mentioned above, if you would like to make a donation to Luis, you may contact us and we will happily provide you with all the information needed to make a direct donation to the Biblioburro. Many people have done so already and a considerable amount has already been sent by viewers for Luis to continue his work on the library.

Donations to Ayoka Productions on the other hand, enable us to make more films and tell other great stories such as this one.

Donations to Luis

Please let me know how I could help him in any way. My name is Rich and my email is Thanks in Advance.

Luis Soriano - Biblioburro

Thanks for a great wrok you do.
I wonder what can I do to donnate to Biblioburro


book donation

please let me know were I can send book donations

Book donations

You may ship books for the Biblioburro at the following address:

Luis Soriano
Transversal 24 No 20-26
Barrio Los Fundadores
Valledupar, Colombia



Is this address still current?


Thank you so much to the film makers for sharing this truly incredible story. This serves to inspire every teacher, every librarian, every parent who ever wanted to open the world of books to children. Literacy is power, and this film, this man, Luis Soriano, empowers. Thank for for such excellent and important work. This should be required viewing for all future teachers and librarians, and maybe their (our) students too!

Monica Brown, children's author

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