We might be familiar with an oasis, either as a sort of place you stop to acquire snacks on a road trip or as the sort of mythical place that exists in a stretch of desert (my mind goes immediately to thinking about the classic Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons). But there is a real majesty in Peru’s Huacachina:
This Oasis is a tiny village, which has about 100 residents during the year but is a growing tourist destination in South America. People are curious about the town that rises from the middle of the desert, with lush trees and a lagoon.
But what’s really magical is that Huacachina is also home to an incredible little library.
El Biblioteca Abraham Valdelomar was founded in 2003 by Alberto Benavidas Ganoza. Benavidas established it first as a personal library, which reflected his tastes and interests in philosophy, writing, farming, and culture. The collection has been added to since, increasing its numbers to somewhere near ten thousand titles.
The library prides itself on being a center of cultural importance in Ica Region of Peru and one of the most valuable in Peru.
Pictured above is one of the prized collections in the Abraham Valdelomar Library: the letters and lectures published by Cátedra. In other words, these are hugely important works for the region and the library has the honor of housing and sharing them — a way to keep an important part of history accessible to locals and visitors to the region.
Aside from being a gorgeous space, the library also functions as a place for local residents to hear storytellers and writers.
And let’s be real: the view from the library outside isn’t too shabby, either.
(Here comes the line everyone’s been waiting to be dropped)
Talk about a space that’s an Oasis in the desert.
You can learn a bit more about the Biblioteca Abraham Valdelomar on the library’s Facebook page, as well as see a few more pictures of their collection. Errors in translating Spanish from the few sources I could find about the library are my own.