Sylvia Guimaraes

Brazil

Vaga Lume Association Brazil

Born in Sao Paulo, Brasil, the historian and educator Sylvia Guimaraes, 39, has been head of Vaga Lume Association since the beginning in 2001. Upon graduating from the University of São Paulo, Sylvia and two other friends founded Vaga Lume Association and set off with a lofty goal: to build 26 libraries in 26 different communities in the Amazon Rain Forrest. In a trip that took almost 2 years, Vaga Lume transferred knowledge by training literacy coaches and reading mediators as well as physically creating the space and bringing a curated selection of books and activities. In most of these initial communities contemplated, Vaga Lume brought the only libraries for miles.