Volunteer of the Month

Each month, we recognize one of our many volunteers whose work is so valuable in keeping La Biblioteca educational programs free of charge. Their work – whether with library books, in the Bodega de Sorpresas, on the House & Garden Tour, or with Atención – makes a great impact on the local community; plus, volunteering at La Biblioteca is fun!

In December, we honor L. Luba as Volunteer of the Month at La Biblioteca. A dedicated volunteer, Luba has been a part of the Biblioteca family for more than 11 years and works tirelessly with Atención. Here’s our interview with Luba:

Biblioteca: Where are you from?

L. Luba: I am originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but more recently I from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have been in San Miguel de Allende full-time for about 13 years now!

B: How and why did you become a volunteer at La Biblioteca?

LL: I became a volunteer at the Biblioteca because I so admire its role in the community; volunteering there seemed like a good way to make a contribution to the city. That along with my fanaticism in spelling, grammar, etc., seemed like a natural way for me to accomplish that.

B: What do/did you do professionally?

LL: I’m retired, if one can be “retired” in San Miguel. So, so much to do; sometimes it’s overwhelming. As for what I used to do (and this is the truth), I had 13 three-year careers, all totally unrelated to one another. Of the 13, if I have to choose a favorite, it would be as a DJ in Santa Fe. That being said, all 13 were new and different… I guess I was a “learning curve junkie,” and always got bored after a few years doing the same thing.

B: What is your role as a volunteer at La Biblioteca?

LL: I’ve been volunteering at La Biblioteca’s Atención as a proofreader for over 11 years. I work with the newspaper’s editors on a weekly basis, polishing English articles that are submitted for publication.

B: Is there a moment that stands out in your mind about your volunteer experience with another volunteer, a community member, or with our staff?

LL: Yes, Jesus Ibarra, editor of the Atención, is the fourth editor I’ve worked with over the years, and I was delighted when he accepted the position after Suzanne Ludekens’ years of service. I’ve always experienced them as open, genuine and warm-hearted people.

B: What do you see for La Biblioteca in the future?

LL: I see, of course, continued good work for the community. My personal experience is with the Atención, and the progress it’s made over the past 13 years or so is remarkable. Those who remember what it was back then, and what it has become, can attest to that.

B: Can you tell us something we may not already know about you? Hobbies, interests, or a motto you live by?

LL: There are two other projects on my plate right now. The first project, with Jo Sanders, has been to bring an adult education school to San Miguel last year, called the Lifelong Learning Program housed at the Instituto. As far as I know, it’s the only one of its kind here. The other project is with the “hookers,” a group which knits and crochets hats and scarves for the children who live out in the campo. The organizer tells me there’ve been more than 2,000 handed out so far.

This is one of my favorite quotations, and it really sums up how I feel about San Miguel:

I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid strangers in their birthplace, and the leafy lanes they have known from childhood remain but a place of passage. They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred and remain aloof among the only scenes they have ever known. Perhaps it is this sense of strangeness that sends men far and wide in the search for something permanent, to which they may attach themselves. Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs. Here is the home he sought, and he will settle amid scenes that he has never seen before, among men he has never known, as though they were familiar to him from his birth. Here at last he finds rest.   -W. Somerset Maugham, 1919

B: Thank you, Luba, for the beautiful words that many who have discovered this wonderful town will surely identify with. And thank you for all the hard work in benefit of Atención, La Biblioteca, and the San Miguel community!

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