US, Guatemalan Service Members Finish City Library Project

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Story Number: NNS140825-03Release Date: 8/25/2014 10:54:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Rafael Martie, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs

PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala (NNS) -- U.S and Guatemalan service members supporting Southern Partnership Station 2014 (SPS-JHSV 14) finished renovating the Puerto Barrios city library, Aug. 22.

Over the last three weeks, U.S. Marine Corps 8th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB), 2nd Marine Logistics Group personnel, U.S. Navy Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 and Guatemalan army engineers painted the building, refurbished areas outside the library, replaced light fixtures, overhauled doors, upgraded the restrooms, repaired plumbing and improved electrical capacity.

The project also ended with a ribbon cutting ceremony at which civil and military authorities attended.

U.S. and Guatemalan personnel that supported the project did not go unnoticed with civil and military leaders from both countries thanking everyone involved in the project.

"This means a lot to me because I was a teacher for twenty-five years before I became mayor," said Jose Antonio Lopez Arevalo, the mayor of Puerto Barrios. "I am motivated to continue to improve on this educational treasure for our city after all the hard work our U.S. and Guatemalan military friends have put into it."

The city library also supports the community by providing a place to conduct research or for recreational purposes.

"The library felt abandoned for quite some time and it was very sad to see daily," said Puerto Barrios, a resident of Silvia Jannette. "The building is stunning now, but what really matters is that the U.S. and Guatemalan military folks did this for our young generation to have a place to pursue their educational needs."

The community around the library personally thanked all the service members involved and offered assistance to the team at the project site.

"I really enjoyed this project for two reasons: getting good work experience for our junior Marines and Sailors, and most importantly, leaving something behind that the community can come together and use," said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Garrett Burn, 8th ESB, 2nd Marine Logistics Group from Tacoma, Washington. "I have been grateful for the support we have received from the community."

U.S. personnel finished work on the library project and next week the Military Sealift Command Joint High-Speed Vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) will return to reload and transport service members to Honduras and continue the SPS-JHSV 14 mission.

SPS-JHSV 14 is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit

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