I was recently back in Guatemala for 11 days!

For the first 4-5 days, I was part of one of the three annual CoEd tours. CoEd is an NGO funded in 1996 now with offices in Cincinnati, Ohio and Guatemala; it’s a great example of organizations that have grown over the years and expanded their programs for kids in elementary and middle schools.  One of the new programs is “Culture of Reading” and it’s focused on developing the habit of reading and critical thinking for kids in K-2 grade.

This tour was a great opportunity to: a) listen to those kids and learn about their goals/expectations for a better education in the future; and b) get to know people who are working/helping with educational initiatives in many parts of the world.  Will I go back for another CoEd tour? Yes, …and hopefully with some friends too.

While I was there -on August 4 at 9 am- I had an important and productive meeting with Thelma Porres –Archive Coordinator at CIRMA.  In the last two years, Thelma and I have exchanged emails and talked about the Musica Colonial project.  Well, this time I finally met and showed her the prototype record we’ve created for this collection.  I know it’s a big –complex- project and it’ll take us a few years to get it completed; but this collection has been, will be, in a special place in my list because:

  • is originally from Guatemala
  • is the oldest collection we housed (from the 18th century)
  • is a collaborative project among CIRMA and at least 3 Miami University Departments:  Spanish & Portuguese, Music, and U. Libraries
  • requires/incorporates some really interesting programming scripting techniques such as: conversion from TIFF to DjVu or PDF, batch generation of files for populating a CONTENTdm collection, and producing audio files from manuscript music records.

I was very happy to get a couple of names of music experts who have done some metadata work for this collection, in the next few weeks I hope to get in touch with them and hopefully we all can share what we’ve done and collaborate for the next –perhaps final- phase of this project.

…and of course, I spent my last 4 days in Toto! –visiting some family, relatives, friends as well as an unplanned –and very successful- visit at CDRO.