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Allouez couple creating library in poor Mexican village

Posted: 8:25 PM, Jan 13, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-14 13:37:15Z
Tyler Clark of Allouez enjoys reminiscing about his time as a Mormon missionary in Mexico. 
 
"I lived with them for two years. These are some of the best, loving people you'll ever meet."
 
They're hard working, but those living in the village of Atexcac are extremely poor.
 
"The nearest library is over an hour away and that's by car, and most people don't have cars," he explains. 
 
So Tyler and his wife, Rebekah, created a Go Fund Me page. The village is providing a building, and the Clarks will use their online donations to fill the new library with books. 
 
Tyler says, "Whatever a book costs here, we can buy 16 down in Mexico. You know that $3,000 or whatever we end up getting is huge." 
 
"We believe in the power of education, especially reading. It can really change your life and give you opportunities for the future, and we want those kids to have that foundation," explains Rebekah.
 
As word spread about the project, local company KI jumped on board and offered to donate computers to the library.
 
Tyler says, "The best opportunity these kids have is to learn how to do software development, how to do coding, because it's something they can do from their village and not have to come to the U.S."
 
The Clarks say they're humbled by the outpouring of support from the community.
 
"We've been amazed. Most of our donations are from people we don't even know, which is awesome," says Tyler.
 
 "When we all work together, we can do great things," Rebekah says with a smile.  
 
The Clarks are working with the village mayor to make sure the library is sustainable for generations to come.
 
If their online campaign raises enough money, they also have plans to build a high school in Atexcac. Right now, the kids meet on the roof of the mayor's office which is a safety hazard. A couple of students have fallen off the roof and broken their bones. The Clarks hope to give them a safe, quality place to learn.