Juan Narvaez is a young boy living in the dying town of Alborde. Once famous for its great olive trees, Alborde has lost its prosperity and population as the people who cultivated the land move from place to place across the country as migrant workers to supplement their meager incomes. The children of the migrant workers, Juan's young friends, are forced to go with their parents, losing out on the opportunity for a proper education and thus a future different from their parents. Juan realizes things have to change, and with the help of his grandfather, affectionately named Fello, he develops a plan to transform Alborde into a place where families can stay year-round, generating jobs and business opportunities, one step at a time, through civic involvement and thoughtful activism. Originally published in Spanish, The Space Between the Olives: A Story of Civic Engagement is based on a true story. It is a tale of courage, solidarity, civic action, and commitment. Author Lily Guzman shows those interested in community development how to participate and act to improve the lives of citizens at the core of an organized society: the municipality. It is a much-needed example to inspire readers to produce significant changes in their own communities at the grassroots level. Lily Guzman is currently an international business development consultant for LGA Inc. She represents the U.S. in the Ibero-American Union of Municipalists (UIM), an international municipal government organization, under which she has managed several exchange programs between U.S. institutions and Latin America and Spain, including the Stetson University faculty and students exchange program, the Stetson University law exchange program with the Universities of Granada and Malaga, the Latin American Studies Program Municipal Government Internship, and the yearly Latin American Mayors and Municipal Workers Workshop in central Florida. Lily Guzman has also served as Latin America Coordinator for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Sister Cities Organization. She is the author of The Caterpillar Story/La Historia de la Oruga and Mas Alla de Mi, a book of poetry and short stories.
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