“This should be in all neighborhoods, on each corner of every neighborhood, in all the towns, in all departments, and all the rural areas,” Gutiérrez told The Associated Press in 2015. “Books are our salvation and that is what Colombia needs.”
Gutiérrez started salvaging discarded books 20 years ago, according to the AP. He credits his work to his mother, who read to him every night despite not being able to afford keeping him in school.
The books now overflow every room in his house, and the first floor of his home is now a community library named The Strength of Words.
Watch Gutiérrez’s story in the video above.
By Carolina Moreno