Vitor Parati, a book-loving bin man from Porto, had a dream to create a free library for everyone using salvaged books. Vitor was determined to make a difference and turned to Terra Solta, a community garden association, to help make his dream a reality.
In addition to his work as a bin man, Vitor also serves his community – amongst many other things – as the president of The Terra Solta Movement Association is dedicated to creating a fairer and freer society through initiatives that promote principles like solidarity, cooperativism, and organic and biodynamic agriculture. The association's vision centers around developing shared urban communities that work in harmony with the environment. https://www.terrasolta.org/ a community garden association in the heart of Porto.
Saving discarded books
Vitor Parati’s free library was made possible through the books he saved from the garbage, which he found during his work as a bin man. He also received book donations from friends. Vitor and the Terra Solta association built the library together, and it is different from traditional ones, as visitors are free to take and leave books without providing their contact information or ID. This unique approach to sharing literature is not only inspiring but also practical, as it makes books accessible to everyone regardless of their circumstances.
Duarte and Emilia, two volunteers at Terra Solta, sort the books by category each Saturday. From history to politics, romance to health, there’s something for everyone at Vitor’s free library. “It is a free library because unfortunately, books in the trash, there are plenty. And there are friends who always give us books,” says Vitor.
Passion for poetry
Vitor’s passion for literature extends beyond the library walls to poetry.
“Our life is poetry. Love is poetry. Living is poetry. Each life is poetry material. We all have a little bit of a poet inside us too. That’s why I love poetry too,” – Vitor Parati
Vitor’s story is a reminder that anyone can make a difference, no matter their profession or background.
Help fix the roof
However, the Terra Solta association faces a challenge in the form of a damaged roof on their facilities. The roof lets in water, making it impossible to carry out activities when it rains and endangering amongst other Vitor’s free library, and their community kitchen.
In the words of Vitor himself,
“Our life is to make a difference, to make the world a better place. And this is one way I can contribute to it.”
If you’re inspired by Vitor’s story and want to support the Terra Solta Movement Association’s mission, consider donating to their crowdfunding campaign to repair the roof or volunteering your time to help their cause. Together, we can make a difference.
You can learn all about Terra Solta in this article we’ve written for the Sustainable Urban Delta Foudation. And read here how a group of Turkish bin men also created a library with salvaged books.
Help Fix The Library's Roof
If you're inspired by Vitor's story and want to support the Terra Solta Movement Association's mission, consider donating to their crowdfunding campaign to repair the roof or volunteering your time to help their cause. Together, we can make a difference.