The 34th I.B.B.Y. (International Board on Books for Young People) International Congress will take place in Mexico City from the 10th to the 13th of September, 2014. Bruno Newman is President of A leer / IBBY Mexico (Asociación para Leer Escuchar Escribir y Recrear).
Ms. Azucena Galindo Ortega, as I have mentioned before, serves on the 2012-14 I.B.B.Y. Executive Committee as regional liaison for Latin America and is on the organizing committee for the 34th I.B.B.Y. International Congress. Born in Mexico City, she graduated with a degree in Business Management from the Intercontinental University. A few years later, she earned a Diploma on Reading Promotion at I.B.B.Y. Mexico.
Since 2004, Ms. Ortega has been formally involved in reading promotion activities. In November of that year, she accepted the position of Managing Director of IBBY Mexico/A leer.
Before taking this responsibility, she had been involved in market research. Today, she combines ongoing studies of children’s literature and reading promotion with her previous professional experience in order to expand the target and widen the impact of I.B.B.Y. Mexico’s programs and projects.
The Mexican National Section of I.B.B.Y. now has more than fifty employees, approximately 6,000 volunteer readers and reaches, through its different programs, over 225,000 young readers. Azucena Galindo Ortega has served on juries for literary prizes and reading promotion projects and has been guest speaker at several national and international forums, including in Paris, Havana, and Rio de Janeiro.
According to I.B.B.Y., “IBBY Mexico is a non-profit organization that works to encourage joyful encounters between children and good books. Since it was established in 1979, its work has been enhanced thanks to the generous effort of an ever-growing number of people and institutions interested in children’s books.”
The main activities include: Courses and workshops around children’s literature intended for parents, teachers and librarians; diplomas in Reading Promotion and Literary Text Appreciation; publications: Recommended Books Guide (published annually or biennially), Leer de la Mano (Reading Hand in Hand) I y II and Rumbo a la Lectura (Towards Reading); Bunkos, little community libraries intended for recreational reading with children and youngsters; a specialized library in children and youth literature to serve educators and researchers; partnerships with other organizations in Mexico and internationally on special projects.
The Hans Christian Andersen Medals and diplomas will be presented to the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award winners at the 34th International I.B.B.Y. Congress on Wednesday, September 10, 2014. During the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, but separate from it, the I.B.B.Y. announces the winners of the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Awards. This time, on Monday, March 24, 2014, Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury of the I.B.B.Y. announced that Ms. Nahoko Uehashi from Japan had won the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and Mr. Roger Mello from Brazil had won the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award.
To celebrate the 34th I.B.B.Y. Congress being held in Mexico City, from August to October of 2014, the gates of Chapultepec Park will be adorned with 101 children’s book illustrations that show representative authors of Mexico. The hope is that the images will inspire reading.
Thirty-four Mexican illustrators are each producing three illustrations. The number 101 is an allusion to The Thousand and One Nights, which is also known in English as Arabian Nights. The artists will include Fabricio Vanden Broeck, Gabriel Pacheco, Juan Gedovius, Mauricio Gomez Morin, Richard Zela, Margarita Sada, Cecelia Rebora, and Valeria Gallo.
 The core of Chapultepec Park was a sacred forest on a hill in pre-Columbian times. Today, it is one of the largest urban parks in the world, covering 686 hectares (1,695 acres) in three sections. It includes a lake, museums, and the presidential residence. Many people call it Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Forest). In 1778, Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Gálvez (1746-1786), Governor of Louisiana (and future Viceroy of New Spain), ordered the construction Chapultepec Castle on Chapultepec Hill as a country retreat. The military engineer Lieutenant Colonel Francesco Bembitelli designed it. The building was not, however, used until 1833, when it became a military academy for the First Republic of Mexico. The six teenage cadets who died defending it from American invaders during the Battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican-American War are remembered in Mexico as Niños Héroes (“Boy Heroes”). This battle is commemorated by the U.S. Marine Corps as the “Halls of Montezuma” in the “Marine’s Hymn.” In 1864, during the Second Mexican Empire, the building was known as Miravalle Castle and it became the official residence of Emperor Maximillian I and Empress Carlota. It is the only building in North America to have served as a residence for a reigning monarch. The building fell into disuses again after the collapse of the Second Mexican Empire in 1867. It would become the official residence of Mexican presidents under the Porfiriato (1876-1910), the Mexican Revolution (1910), and the Mexican Civil War (1911-1920) and the Cristero War (1927-1929). Presidents Porfirio Diaz, Francisco I. Madero, Victoriano Huerta, Venustiano Carranza, Álvaro Obregón, Plutarco Elías Calles, Emilio Portes Gil, Pascual Ortiz Rubio, and Abelardo L. Rodríguez resided there. In 1934, when General Lázaro Cárdenas (1895-1970) became president, he did not wish to reside in Chapultepec Castle. He moved the presidential residence to Rancho la Hormiga ("Ranch of the Ant"), which is also in Chapultepec Park, and renamed it Los Pinos (“The Pines”) in 1940. [Mexicans will sometimes refer to the Mexican presidency as Los Pinos the way Americans will sometimes refer to the American presidency as the White House.] Cárdenas had designated Chapultepec Castle as the Museo Nacional de Historia (National History Museum) and it opened in Chapultepec Castle in 1944. Today, the National History Museum has an annex at the foot of Chapultepec Hill called the Museo del Caracol. The Chapultepec Zoo, the park’s most popular attraction, is in the first section of the park like Chapultepec Castle, as are Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthrpology), Museo Rufino Tamayo (Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum), and several smaller museums.