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Monday, December 19, 2011
La Casa Azul
La Casa Azul Bookstore located at East 103rd Street and Lexington Avenue; the first-ever bilingual book store in East Harlem. The name "La Casa Azul" was inspired by Frieda Kahlo's
original house, now a museum in Mexico City, it means "the blue house."
The Founder and owner of La Casa Azul BookStore is Aurora Anaya-Cerda. She has a private supporter that would match her fundraising efforts. So, she decided to raise $40,000 in 40 days! She had to prove that she really wanted her book store dream to become a reality. Before all of this success, Aurora grew up in Los Angeles, California. Where she lived it wasn't that safe, so she wasn't allowed to go outside and play, even though a park was right across the street. She had no video games or computer so she couldn't entertain herself that way. How did she keep herself occupied in the house all day? Well, she read books of course!
She read books she could relate to. One of her best memories is reading a book that was about a boy and and a healing-woman who dealt with herbs and minerals, made her remember her own grandmother who was the community healer like this woman. Later in life Aurora became a middle-school teacher, working with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. She used bilingual books in her teaching so that her students could also relate to the books with things such as coming to another country, or speaking another language.
In La Casa Azul Bookstore bilingual books are exactly what you would find. Unlike other stores who only have one shelf full of Spanish and African-American authors, all of Aurora's shelves will be full of them.
She plans to open her store in three months so keep an eye out! More information in our printed magazine coming out in 2012!!!