Chiriqui’s first “Little Free Library”

Little Free Library in Chiriqui

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Take a book – leave a book

Students of the Las Lajas Secondary School in Chiriquí, with the support of ForestFinance Panama S.A, a sustainable reforestation company which has been managing mixed species plantations in the area for 20 years, have created Panama’s first mini-library (MiniBi) for the benefit of the surrounding communities. Operating as the ALFA environmental group, the students recently installed their first mini library in the Chiricream ice cream parlor in Las Lajas. Through similar cooperative efforts from NGOs and donations from the general public, Forest Finance hopes to install another 99 mini libraries across the Isthmus. So far many people have offered help by donating books but more suggestions are needed for locations and more mini-library sponsors are being sought.

Little Free Library in Chiriqui

The “Little Free Library” community initiative comes from the United States. It is a non-profit project that seeks to promote literacy and inspire the love of reading by providing free books housed in small boxes placed in strategic public places. Functioning on the principle of fair exchange, those interested in taking a book must leave a book in return. More than 25,000 boxes have been installed around the world. ForestFinance, S.A. is the first company involved in this project in Panama.

If you want to take part in this project and win a MiniBi for your neighborhood, town or community, please email us and tell us your story. Where would the mini-library be located and why do you think it would be a good spot? ForestFinance SA will raffle one free MiniBi among the respondents.

Chiricream’s book box was built and artistically decorated by the ALFA students in ForestFinance’s carpentry workshop. The boxes will be made by apprentices using sustainably sourced plantation wood from Las Lajas ForestFinance provides their expertise in the custom-design of boxes, with individual designs and different types of wood, manufactured at the new Santa Cruz carpentry school. Prices for Mini-Bis start at $200. The carpentry school, which opened in June 2014, also produces teak decks, sauna frames, moulding, furniture and beehives, all with certified plantation wood.

To help the ALFA students reach their goal or to learn more about ForestFinance, including the Santa Cruz carpentry school, contact Tel. +507 317 – 1251, or write


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