Literacy for life
Soy Lector/Soy Lectora
With the “Soy Lector, Soy Lectora” project, we install active, attractive and functional libraries with high-quality furniture and books to create spaces of reading for pleasure. These libraries are installed in schools, outreach centers, CDAs, and municipalities. So far we have opened more than 120 reading spaces and delivered more than 100,000 books in almost the entire country.
To make libraries attractive, we install cushions, poufs and rugs; In order for them to be functional and active, we train teachers or library committees in the development of critical and creative thinking skills, working from literacy through reading, art and writing.
Annual Teachers Conference
For the last 9 years, ConTextos has held the Annual Teachers Conference, an experience designed to strengthen the network of teachers we have built over all these years.
The objective of these congresses is for teachers to recognize themselves as key members of the the community, as professionals and create a space to share and learn from each other’s knowledge and experiences.
Each congress is held in a different venue, from museums to parks, and with a specific concept. We have addressed subjects such as violence prevention, resilience, exceptionality and childhood.
In each congress, we also award the Golden Mango award to innovative projects in the classroom.
Una Escuela Mil Historias
In Morazán, we developed the project “Una Escuela Mil Historias” (A School a Thousand Stories), together with Swiss Solidarity and the technical support of Fundación Pestalozzi.
The project seeks to develop critical thinking, through a literacy approach, using reading and mathematical reasoning. There we work with 54 rural schools located in 6 municipalities, there we have already installed reading spaces in every one of them and 6 municipal libraries. We also trained more than 170 teachers and worked on academic reinforcement and reading for 2,800 students.
One of the main achievements, and especially after the pandemic, was the contribution of this project to maintain student enrollment in the schools where the project has had an impact.
The dialogue circles were born during the pandemic so that ConTextos’ Teachers and Youth Networks could have a safe space to talk, express their feelings and dialogue. We worked via the Zoom platform with reading, painting and writing dynamics. In addition, we taught the teachers how to use digital tools so that they could apply them in their classrooms. The circles provide a safe space for listening to each other, provoking reflections.
In 2023 we resumed the dialogue with the teaching network, with the new name of Learning Community. One Saturday a month, teachers from the network meet voluntarily to reflect and dream about the transformation of their practices. Through literacy, personal experiences and shared experiences we have addressed topics of interest to transform the reality of children through education.
Literacy for reconciliation
Soy Autor/Soy Autora
The “Soy Autor, Soy Autora” (I’m an author) project was born in 2012 as a restorative process for young people at risk. Due to its success, we have expanded it to other communities: from young people from formation centers to returned migrant families.
The project leads the participants to express themselves, get to know each other and recognize each other through their stories. Those who participate choose a moment in their life to think about, write about and give new meaning to it. Their memories, after several work sessions, end up in a book made by each participant. Each book seeks to build bridges and spark community dialogue.
“Había una vez” the library
“Había una vez…la biblioteca” (Once upon a time…the library)
Every Wednesday, from 9 am to 4pm in the afternoon, ConTextos’ library opens its doors to welcome the community. This is a space filled with stories, books for all ages, poufs, cushions, rugs.
The ConTextos library responds to our three premises about how a library should be: active, attractive and functional and a safe place to express yourself and dialogue with others
In the library we do readings aloud for different audiences; We are visited by schools, companies or people who simply walk by and notice our colorful pennants above our doors, see the blackboard and venture inside to read.
Find us at 107 Calle La Mascota, Colonia La Mascota, San Salvador, El Salvador.
“La busqueda” Story Lab
In 2021, together with the Whitehead Foundation, we carried out the first “The Search” Story Lab. Twenty-five people, participants of the “soy autor, Soy autora” (I’m an Author) process and artists from different disciplines came together to share their story and transform it into art by answering the prompt: “what does it mean to be a survivor?”
To do so, they experimented with various languages such as poetry, body expression and sound art. Finally, in teams of two or three people, they co-produced a sculpture that told their shared story through art object. Their work reflect pain, lack of justice, feminism, dignity, rebirth and strength.
Tiramos la biblio por la ventana
“Tiramos la biblio por la ventana” (library out the windows) was born in 2021. To commemorate International Book Day, which is celebrated on April 21st, together with the ConTextos network of schools, we took the libraries to parks, schoolyards, theaters and museums .
For three days books and art took to the streets. Every year schools from Ahuachapán, Sonsonate, Santa Ana, La Libertad, Morazán and Chalatenango, the MARTE museum, the Tin Marín museum, the French Alliance, Cuscaltlán Park and El Cafetalón Park unconditionally join this celebration.
We continue to grow, every year, more than 3,000 people join us in this reading party.
Reading Afternoons at the Theater
The “Tardes de lectura en el POMA” (reading afternoons at the theater) were born in 2021 as a pilot test thanks to the Poma Foundation. For 4 months a year, every last Saturday of the month, in the auditorium of the Luis Poma Theater we did a reading aloud and an activity, once per month. At first there were only 10 boys and girls with their parents. Now, 50+ people arrive every Saturday for reading afternoons at Poma. Many of them come to every single reading.
This is our third year, and the readings have already been extended to 8 Saturdays a year. In these readings we promote community and dialogue between children and adults because our readings invite everyone to voice their opinion.
As part of the project “Derecho y dignidad” (Rights and dignity) we held five events in San Salvador, Santa Ana and San Miguel to engage in purposeful dialogue about rights. In these dialogues, named “Tu voz y la mía cuentan” (your voice and mine count), more than 150 students from different universities of El Salvador participated.
Through art, talk with artist and authors, theater and artistic experiences, they reflected on discrimination, the role of women in society and LGTBIQ+ rights in the community. The experiences of other people were recognized and prejudices were confronted.
This project is implemented by Counterpart International together with Partners El Salvador and ConTextos.