The often bloody struggles of Central America have dominated news reports for a long time. Behind the headlines lies an enormous population of the desperately poor, and it is axiomatic that they are rendered even more powerless by widespread illiteracy.
What actually counts as literacy is less clear. Archer and Costello describe some of the most exciting and innovative programmes designed to overcome the problem and how, as they worked with many of them, they discovered how varied and controversial they are. El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia and Guatemala are all included, and for each country the authors have provided a thrilling account of the lives and circumstances of the people who both teach and learn as well as describing the varied forms that literacy teaching, even literacy itself, can take.
This book is not only about literacy, but is also a guide to the societies of one of the world's most troubled regions.
Originally published in 1990
Table of Contents
Glossary of Foreign Words
I Revolution: What is Popular Education?
1. El Salvador, Colomoncagua: Words and Bombs
2. Nicaragua, Lechecuagos: Literacy as a Political Crusade
3. Nicaragua, Batahola: The Paradox of Revolutionary Education
II Reform: Literacy and Organization
4. Honduras, San Antonio de Jura: Co-operative Literacy
5. Ecuador, Santa Lucia: Literacy and Human Rights
6. Mexico, San Miguel Teotongo: Reading and De-reading, Literacy and Debt
7. Chile, Santiago: Breaking the Culture of Silence
III Reclamation: Literacy and Indigenous Peoples
8. Guatemala, Cabrican: The New Frontier
9. Bolivia, El Alto: The Language of Power
10. Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast, Karata: Miskitu Dialogue
Appendix: The Life of Paulo Freire