Our Turnkey Library program goes beyond just encouraging reading. We transform schools into communities of readers!

ConTextos knows that in order to improve the quality of education, we must improve the quality of teachers. Our intensive teacher-training program consists of workshops and coaching that motivates teachers to sustainably change classroom practice in order to improve student learning outcomes. 

The teacher-training process consists of three years of intervention. Year one counts with the donation of 500 high quality books in Spanish. Teacher trainings develop skills and strategies to establish a lending library, integrate books, reading and discussion into classroom practice, and engage youth-leaders and parents throughout the learning process.



After 5-years seeing momentous changes in k-3rd grades, we launched iLEER, which innovates literacy education in two key ways: 1) pioneering the use of digital texts and Kindle e-readers in Central America, and 2) directly targeting 4-9th-graders and their teachers, the most vulnerable time for gang-recruitment.

With e-readers, groups of students engage around the same text, facilitating debate and dialogue that builds better readers and citizens.



Every year, ConTextos gathers the network of teachers in the annual conference, a unique professional development opportunity for teachers that before ConTextos wasn't possible. 

For the first time in 2014, the conference "Literacy and Leadership" brought together 200 teachers, partners, friends and literacy organizations in the region. Miguel Tello, Executive Director of Strachan Foundation, was the keynote speaker. 

The 2nd anual teacher training conference of ConTextos gathered 400 teachers, educators, donors, partners, and friends of ConTextos. The keynote speaker José Luis Sanz, Director of the online newspaper El Faro, challenged the participants to acknowledge their important role to undermine the strtuctures of a violent society. He encouraged them to get united and speak up their needs in their communities. 

In November 2016, ConTextos will host the 3rd annual teacher conference with the topic "Texts to confront violence" where teachers will be exposed to diverse texts and the correlation with the violence they face every day at their classroom





Our students go far beyond learning to write. They author their own memoirs to share with the world!

Soy Autor is a unique writing program that incorporates tablet-technology and targets at-risk youth. Students learn to “read as writers” as they author and publish their own digital memoirs. In 2014, ConTextos implemented Soy Autor at public schools, private institutions, and juvenile detention centers. At the same time, we are working closely with investors to create a digital platform to make curricularcontent available to thousands of kids throughout the Americas. 

How does literacy relate to peace?
There is a direct relationship between literacy and violence. The process of reading and writing help develop the skills to address and understand trauma, empowering young people who are at-risk of gangs and violence.

Diverse research shows that children who achieve on-level skills at reading and writing are less likely to be violent.

This program has been developed to confront trauma and violence problems that dominate El Salvador and Central America.

Soy Autor results has demonstrated that participants: 

- Improve their ability to reflect on the past and proyect themselves positively about the future.

- Increase their level of empathy and expand their vocabulary to express about stressful and traumatic situations.

- Their interest in learning and schooling increases, improving their understanding in reading and writing.

- They are able to learn from each other and consider others perspectives.

See students publications at issuu.com/contextos-sv.


From “the homicide capital of the world” to “the homicide capital of the USA”

In 2012, with funds from the US State Department’s International Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), ConTextos’ launched the Soy Autor Program targeting gang-affiliated youth in public schools, prisons and juvenile detention centers in El Salvador. Like Chicago, El Salvador suffers from rampant gang violence and homicides (Chicago’s homicide rate is 15 per 100,000; El Salvador’s is 69).

Published works are used to engage with families, guards and the general public. Over 584 violent and trauma-affected youth in El Salvador have participated in the program.



Since 2015, Soy Poeta inspires and encourages students to express their perception of the world through poetry. Our curriculum allows each student to explore the power of language and literary resources in order to grow in perspective. It also enables them to develop expression skills as well as self-esteem by sharing their poetry to diverse audiences.

See students publications at issuu.com/contextos-sv


Poetry Slam celebrates El Salvador stories through the art of oral tradition. Words serve as a vehicle to tell these stories, and your body, voice and senses are the tools that add perspective to each individual piece. This specific type of poetry seeks to inspire the younger generations around the world to explore their own stories and find a new meaning within them through poetry.






Improving the quality of education in Central America is critical to improving the safety, well-being and growth throughout the entire region.

Central America Reads

Since founding ConTextos, we came across dozens of multinational organizations that work to develop literacy and provide resources in nations throughout Africa and Asia. But we didn't find a single organization that directly targets the Central American context. To fill this void we founded CALee.

CALee was born out of on the annual Latin America ProLEER conference at Harvard. CALee aims to develop a network of best-practice educational organizations from El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Dominican Republic. CALee envisions reading as a key tool to develop cultural shifts that promote democratic citizenship and peace.

Furthermore, these organizations have institutional structures that defy traditional development models, encourage transparency and promote collaboration.

If you want to get involved contact alejandra@contextos.org