Bolivia was united in a celebration of literature on Saturday with a series of activities across the country to promote reading on World Book Day.
April 23 was chosen by UNESCO as World Book Day, since it is anniversary of the death of a number of writers, including Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Garcilaso de la Vega.
President Evo Morales chose to launch the "Bolivia reads" campaign on this day, to gather donations of 100,000 books from various households. The donation will then serve to create 50 new community libraries.
Soldiers and police were deployed Saturday at 8:30 a.m. in major cities.
The Ministry of Education also allowed state education offices and even telephone booths to be used as book deposit points.
The Vice Minister of Alternative and Special Education, Noel Aguirre, stated in La Paz at the launch of the event that UNESCO first celebrated World Book Day in 1995 as a universal homage to books and authors, in order to encourage people to read and value literature.
The capital city, La Paz, organized several reading sessions throughout the city as well as an apthapi, a traditional Bolivian community gathering, for people to enjoy reading together.
La Paz's libraries also organized activities to encourage readers to visit, find books and take them home. Stands were even set up where people would donate books to the public, or exchange one for another.