December 11, 2008

Christmas Wishlist

This year HB will give out wrapped Christmas gifts to around 80 children, so it takes us awhile to accumulate enough presents! We are still short on gifts for this year's party, coming up on December 20th.

Here are some suggested items that the kids like and have been asking for:
-stuffed animals of any kind
-any type of action figure, for both boys and girls. some favorites are: superheroes (batman, superman, spiderman, wonderwoman, fantastic 4, etc.), diego & dora, power rangers, bratz
-any sort of Disney/Pixar/cartoon figure (McQueen, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, etc.) in the form of a stuffed animal or action figure type of toy

Questions? Email us:

September 26, 2008

Low season library needs

We will be holding another clothing bazaar November 1 so if you're coming down and looking to clean out a few closets, we'd be happy to get your old clothes, especially kids' stuff!

Our most popular item is clothing for kids.
But here's a longer list of things:
--gently used clothing, especially newborn & youth sizes, or small adult sizes, LIGHT clothing-shorts, t-shirts, shorts, bathing suits, camis, flip-flops, sneakers, ball caps, sun hats, umbrellas, any trendy clothes - Old Navy, Circo, Gap... Light SHORT skirts - the long ones for Gringas are too long for our locals.

--old but still functional electronics such as radios, CD players or small stereo components, DVD players [as long as these items are used (not new) & packed in luggage (rather than in their original boxes) it should not be any problem to bring them into the country]

--used but still functional household items such as light weight linens, sheets or towels, curtains, anything that is in good condition and you think could be used by another family.

Other needs:
--Right now we are in dire need of cash donations to help us keep our staff paid and electricity on during the low season when visitors are scarce. For more information on how to donate, see our donation blog:

--We need new tables and chairs for the main library, the ones we have are old and falling apart. These would obviously have to be purchased locally. We are looking for 2 sturdy card- tables, either wood or durable plastic (the plastic furniture for outdoors simply won't hold up with all the use they get in the library) and accompanying chairs.

--We need new doors for our annex building, as the ones we have now are not sturdy enough. We are looking for heavy/solid wood doors or steel doors that have a frame, as well as assistance in hanging them.

--Used DVDs in English or Spanish

--Used computers with flat screens or CPUs. Maybe your business or school district has just upgraded their machines and is looking for a place to donate the old ones? Anything running Windows XP or higher would be a welcome addition, as most of our equipment is quite outdated.

--The only school supplies we need are:
-pencil sharpeners and erasers
-washable (water based) poster paints, in large sizes (like the 1 liter size bottles)
- poster size paper (either posterboard or heavy paper, not newsprint)
-coloring books
- children's workbooks that have connect the dots, mazes, word finds (in Spanish), ABCs (in Spanish) or simple math excercises.
Well loves themes for the coloring/work books are Spiderman and Disney characters.

Have a question about a certain item? Email us at:

August 29, 2008

Back to school wishlist

It's about that time of year when every one's gearing up for back to school. Our needs haven't changed much from the usual requests.
But in case you're wondering what you can get for the library as you do your own back-to-school shopping, here's our list:
Please remember, NO broken toys, NO big toys (no room in crowded homes), NO toys or games that require knowledge of English, and NO toys that need batteries (no money to replace them).

--prizes (small toys) and school supplies for kids who take part in our regular after school reading activities. Below are some suggested items, but if you have kids they can probably clue you in even better than we can as to what's desired these days.

--We are usually short on gifts/toys for older kids (age 10-14). Ball caps, sunglasses, backpacks, geometry sets (like with triangles, a protractor and compass for drawing circles), solar calculators, cool notebooks, balls (soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball) and kites.

--For younger kids, both boys and girls like the car sets, stuffed animals (does not matter what kind), jewelry sets, bracelet/necklace/bead making kits, hair accessories kits and sets, any kind of art kit (paint by number/velvet/water-color), dolls, doll clothing, anything Dora the Explorer or Diego the Animal rescuer, kites, soccer balls, pog sets, airplanes, toy car kits, simple puzzles (jigsaw) coloring books, punchy balloon things, any kind of tote bag or backpack

--puzzles for younger kids (100 pieces or less) and board games in Spanish (locals and visitors alike enjoy using these items, especially on rainy days! )
We have quite a few 500 piece puzzles, but these are too challenging for the kids. Puzzles with larger pieces, and especially floor puzzles are well-liked.

As always, we still need the following items:

--3 CPUs/computers (used is fine, as long as it can run Windows XP)

--gently used clothing for children and teens

--volunteers for improvement projects: painting, repairs, gardening, etc.

what we don't need:
--We have plenty of pencils, pens, markers, crayons to last into the school year

1. Tell a friend. Perhaps you can forward this information to a friend or family member who may consider making a donation.

2. Post a photo. Did you take a photo of the library during your last vacation? Post it on a message board and/or e-mail it to us to put on our blog, we love sharing the inspiring stories of friendships people have made at Hekab Be.

3. Write about your experience at the library on a message board and/or email it to us to post on our main blog.


August 28, 2008

Used clothing, electronics & household items needed for fundraisers

Our last bazaar was a big success thanks to everyone who donated items. We are hoping to continue doing these fundraisers on a regular monthly or bi-monthly basis, so keep bringing your wonderful used things!

We are currently gathering up items for a yard sale/bazaar to benefit the library. The clothing that our wonderful supporters donate are sold at very reasonable rates (yard/garage sale prices). This provides an outlet for local townspeople to buy items they need at reasonable prices and gives them access to things that are not readily available in stores here. (Please note that if you donated clothing at the library and asked that it be given to needy families, we do *not* include those in our sales, we find families who can make the best use of it).

These bazaars are extremely popular among the town residents, who are always asking Maggie when the next one will be. The answer is always: "When we gather up enough stuff to hold the next sale!"

Due to the success we've had with the sale of clothing, we are expanding to include other items.
Donated items could include:

--gently used clothing, especially newborn & youth sizes, or small adult sizes,LIGHT clothing-shorts, t-shirts, camis, flip-flops, ball caps, sun hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, any trendy clothes - Old Navy, Abercrombie, Gap... Light SHORT skirts - the long ones for Gringas are too long for our locals.
--old but still functional electronics such as radios, cd/tape players or small stereo components, dvd or vhs players [as long as these items are used (not new) & packed in luggage (rather than in their original boxes) it should not be any problem to bring them into the country]
--used but still functional household items such as kitchenware, small kitchen appliances (toasters, coffee pots, blenders, microwaves), pots & pans, bakeware, small lamps, tupperware stuff, plastic (durable) plates and cups, decorative items, light weight linens, sheets or towels, curtains, anything that is in good condition and you think could be used by another family.

If you have questions about whether a certain item would be useful here or not, email us:

June 5, 2008

Summer program wishlist

Here are some things we will need for our upcoming summer program:

--prizes for the "best reader" competitions, we are hoping to give one to a girl and one to a boy in each group (ages 5-7; 8-11, 12 and up). These would be bigger our than usual prizes, such as nice backpacks or other things the kids can use to go back to

--Monetary donations to help us pay our additional staff for the summer program and to pay for the party at the end of the course (food & pinatas)

For the children's circus we will need the following:
--Instruments (all kinds except keyboards): we need instruments that the kids can really play, so either very durable (and good sounding) toy instruments, or else real (but kid sized) instruments that are inexpensive. Suggestions: drums, recorders, harmonicas, maracas, ukuleles...

--gently used Halloween costumes, that will fit kids ages 5-14 (with more of the smaller sizes) especially clown, ballerina & animal costumes. Please remember that it's very hot here in August, so nothing too thick or heavy.

--animal print fabrics to make costumes, again nothing too heavy weight. we need at least 3-5 yards of any one materials so that there is enough to make a child's costume

--for the circus MC: one black top hat and one black dinner jacket (men's size small)

--nontoxic costume makeup

--circus props and costumes items (juggling equipment, clowns noses/wigs/shoes, gag toys, anything you have around the house that could be used as a circus prop!)

April 7, 2008

Honored library supporters

Library friends, old and new, are the people who keep Hekab Be going. Here we honor
the Oakleys and the Ratliffs.
Deborah & Bruce Oakley are long-time library supporters who have faithfully and generously supported the library for the past 10 years. Most recently they helped organize the inauguration of a new library collection: the Fred Groves Memorial Collection. HB is very proud of having the honor to house this collection. Fred Groves was a long time resident of Tankah and through the generosity of his widow and the assistance of Deborah and Bruce Oakley, the library now has a fine collection of books on alternative energy sources.

Deobrah (far right in white shirt) and other library friends from Tankah enjoy some smiles and snacks with the kids during the inauguration of the Fred Groves' collection

Bruce (front center, sitting cross-legged), Tankah friends and the library gang take a moment to memorialize the inauguration event.

Paul & Babs Ratliff are newer library friends, who have put in a lot of time & energy to help keep things in running order around the library by working on building improvements. Most recently they organized the LG toolbox project so that volunteers have what they need to help HB keep things running, and with the help of Babs' sister and brother-in-law, rewired the electricity in the HB annex buildings.

Here's a a brief bio from Paul aka Badger:
My name is Paul (Badger on Locogringo) my wife's name is Babs.
Our first visit to Akumal was in January of 2006 where we met Gary B (Shapeshifter), who was the first person to tell us about the Library and encouraged us to stop by and introduce ourselves to Maggie.
I am a contractor and able to do carpentry, wiring, plumbing, etc., so together with my wife we try to find a project or two to work on at the library whenever we vacation in Akumal.As anyone who has volunteered at the Library can tell you, the work is very rewarding and greatly appreciated.

Badger hard at work making repairs at HB

Badger & Maggie enjoying some down time at the Pescador

January 17, 2008

2008 wishes

here are some current needs at the library:

All these are items that can be purchased locally (meaning in Playa del Carmen) or if you'd like to donate towards a specific item, just indicate that when you make your donation.

--large plastic storage bins with tops that close tightly. we need these to store our materials without them deteriorating in the humidity or becoming bug infested. at least 6 would be great to have around.

--a ladder (at least 6 ft tall) for our many repairs and improvement projects.

--several brooms, including one for outdoor use.

--rustoleum. we have several metal shelves that were donated to the library which need to be refinished. we plan to sand and paint them and would like to spray them with rustoleum to prevent them from rusting again.

--new computers. by new we mean gently used and not too out of date CPUs. we have monitors and keyboards but all of our CPUs are out of order. battling with humidity is a constant struggle for our computers. have you just upgraded your computer and don't know what to do with your old one? consider bringing it down. or you may contact Maggie or Alice to help you locate someone else coming down who can bring it for you.

Hekab Be also still needs the following:
--gently used clothing for children and teens

--adult vhs tapes and dvd's in Spanish - for learning English, n parenting or other educational topics such as health care, do it yourself, etc......

--volunteers for other improvement projects- painting, repairs, gardening...

--and as always, donations for operating costs. We are back in high season and hope that our donations will pick up but are currently running in deficit after the holidays. Please consider giving, every little bit helps!