If you live in Santiago or really, anywhere in Chile and you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, this one is great to do from home. The Biblioteca Central Para Ciegos needs books recorded in Spanish. They have a library full of texts from fiction to nearly any topic in non-fiction, mostly in Spanish, but some other languages, too. The idea is that you pick up a book, record it at home to a CD in mp3 format which is very easy to do with programs that may come with your computer or the free Audacity audio recording program. The recordings are checked out of the library by the users who are visually impaired, and they do not use the audio in any commercial way. It’s really a win-win for everyone. You get to practice your Spanish (you need not be a native speaker), learn new vocabulary and topics while going that extra step to make your time more meaningful by making it available to others. If you don’t have the time, you could always donate money if that’s your preference. Patricia Soto is in charge of the library. She really is a funny and charming lady, so stop by and and chat with her to find out what books they have or if they are in need of a book that’s already in your collection. They will close the office in February, so get yourself in there if you want to grab something before the whole country goes on vacation!
Address: Rafael Cañas 165, Providencia Santiago (typical public office hours are 11 – 3 Mon-Thurs)
Land line: 2235 6891