A New Year Brings New People

It’s been a busy start to 2018 at Hekab Be, with a change-over in staff bringing new ideas and new energy to the library.

A New Director …

Replacing Emilia as Director is Kaori Sueki, who has been working with the children as an assistant since last summer.

Kaori with Children
Kaori Sueki with two of her students

Kaori was born in Japan, but has lived in both Nicaragua and the USA. She has been a resident of Akumal for the past two years. She holds a Bachelor of Design Management from Nagoya University of Arts, with specialist certification in teaching.

As well as being an experienced teacher and artist, Kaori is fluent in Japanese, Spanish, and English. She is in charge of coordinating the library’s educational program, and welcomes visitors and residents of Akumal to come and join in with the library’s afternoon classes.

And a New Administrator …

We are also welcoming Elizabeth Bautista, known as Ely, who has taken on the role of library administrator.

Elizabeth Bautista busy getting the library’s administrative files in order

Ely is a Mexican national, and holds a degree in Environmental Technology Engineering. She recently moved to Akumal from Campeche, where she was in charge of coordinating training and development activities for the staff of Consultoría CONCES, S. C.

Although she has been on staff for less than a month, Ely has already made some wonderful changes, including sorting through and re-organizing the office filing system and book collection. She is in the library from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Ely has studied English, but is a little rusty so she needs to practice. Please stop by and say hello to help her out!

Although Kaori and Elizabeth have jointly taken over the reins of day-to-day operations, we’re happy that both Emilia and Jake will continue to be involved with the library as volunteers. Emilia will continue to help out with special events, and Jake will be teaching art and helping with special projects.

There have also been some changes in the US non-profit Board of Directors, with Nicky Lawson, David Kustra, and Betsy Amy-Vogt joining to replace members who had to step down due to family and work commitments.

Hekab Be Needs You!

While we are blessed with a team of dedicated volunteers, we still have room for more! We have opportunities for teaching the children, assisting Elizabeth with the book collection, and we’d love a volunteer who would be willing to help out with simple handyman projects such as patching concrete and painting. If you are interested in becoming involved please email via the library Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Hekab/ or just stop by the library anytime during opening hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Our 2018 To Do List

On our wishlist for 2018 is to complete the renovation of the classrooms; clear, clean and repair our current bodega as a room for community use, and separate the current single bathroom into one for girls and one for boys. Last year we were able to install new doors and front windows for the classrooms thanks to a donation from a group of visitors from the Hard Rock Hotel, but the rear windows are still the older style wooden shutters that do not do a good job of keeping the rain and dust out, some of the older concrete is starting to crack and flake, and the walls need a new coat of paint.

One project that was undertaken and completed this month, was clearing the lot in front of the library and re-painting the building façade to be more visible from the road. Can you see us as you drive past? Taking charge of this was Agustin, an artist who has painted murals with school children in communities throughout Mexico, Central and South America. The finished work is a collaboration work of art painted by Agustin and the children of Akumal in a true group project.

Staff and students pose with Agustin in front of the completed mural. Thanks Agustin!


Plans for the future include starting a garden for the children to learn about growing vegetables, and we have an art show and book sale planned for Feb 17th at the library. We are hoping to have as many local artists as possible join us for this event. Cost will be $100 MX per space, with 100% of funds raised going directly to support Hekab Be. Artists will be able to show and sell their work. We welcome everyone who creates hand-made, original works of art whether they are life-size portraits or artisanal bars of soap. Please contact us via the Facebook group to reserve your space.

We’re looking forward to a wonderful and productive February, so stop by and say hello and see what is happening.


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Writer, weirdo, and mostly nice person.

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