A large number of people have been standing in line for hours under the summer Yucatán sun in the port of Progreso in order to be able to pay a visit to the Logos Hope, the largest floating bookstore in the world.
This reporter stood in line for almost three hours, before getting on to a bus that drove along the 3.5-mile long Progreso pier, passed by the Port Authority Customs Office building, all the way to the APM Maritime Terminal where the cruisers and large cargo vessels dock, and where the Logos Hope was waiting for the visitors.
The bookstore occupies one full section of the ship. The shelves feature all kind of different books, many for recreational reading, others for professional references, personality, leadership and individual development; they also have a good selection of children’s books, arts & crafts, and publications talking about different global cultures, among a diversity of other topics.
Pavel Martínez, is the Media Officer onboard the Logos Hope, he is responsible of providing information to members of the press that visit the vessel, and also to deal with any media outlet that gives them international coverage.
Pavel has been on board the Logos Hope for 18 months and has visited more than 20 different countries. In several of these countries he has descended from the ship in two or three different ports.
In an exclusive interview with The Yucatan Times, Mr. Martínez explained that Logos Hope is operated by GBA ships e.V, a non-profit organization based in Germany which manages ships that sail around the world to share knowledge, help and hope.
This is what Pavel Martínez told TYT:
The Logos Hope is a humanitarian aid organization, whose vision is not only to promote education but also to provide practical help in many different ways.
At each port we visit, we have three fundamental goals:
1.- To share knowledge.
2.- To give help.
3.- To provide hope.
We share knowledge of course, by making books accesible to the people, we are the largest floating bookstore in the world, we have more than one million books in our warehouses.
We give reading classes and donations of books to low-income schools, orphanages, even prisons or juvenile detention facilities.
We also organize cultural events, conferences and theater plays on board the Logos Hope for all the people who visit us.
We provide practical help of different types, we provide medical help, totally free, with the collaboration of general practitioners and specialists.
In many ports we also donate water purification plants, in countries where there is no access to potable water.
In Logos Hope we launched a product called “the shoe that grows“, it is a special type of shoe that adapts to different foot sizes. We donate these shoes in places where people do not have enough resources to buy clothing, mostly in under-privileged countries.
This is definitely the most important of our goals.
The ship has 400 crew members, from 62 different countries, all of them volunteers without a salary, who are here only for the love to help others, and they are always willing to connect with the people who visit the ship and share their stories with them, and in that way, we share hope.
Progreso is our last port in Mexico, in fact this is the first year that the Logos Hope visits Continental America, we started the year in Colombia, then Guatemala, and now in Mexico for four months, visiting four different ports (Tampico, Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos and Progreso), and our next stop is Panama.
I would like to tell the people of Yucatan that culture is always an access to a better future, in Logos Hope we want everybody, but especially children and young people, to approach reading, because that will open many doors for them.
Logos Hope seeks to be a cultural bridge, Yucatan is fashionable and has many tourist attractions, so it is easy to see foreigners only as tourists, but we want the people of Yucatan to see people from other countries as someone who can be their friend.
The members of the Logos Hope crew, who, as I said before, come from over 60 different countries, they come here with the idea of making friends, sharing their knowledge and experience with local people in order to establish new friendships all over the world.
Interview by Alejandro Azcárate for The Yucatan Times
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