The Nicaraguan Literacy Crusade, Second war of liberation

Year Published:  1982
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2677

THE NICARAGUAN LITERACY CRUSADE, SECOND WAR OF LIBERATION, celebrates in words and photos the success of this campaign. Sections of the booklet focus on Nicaragua's leaders, workers, peasants, neighborhoods, women, and youth.

The authors point out how the literacy crusade grew out of the liberation struggle begun in 1927, by General Augusto Cesar Sandino. Throughout his struggle, Sandino had sought ways to improve his people's social and economic development. He set up co-operatives for agricultural production and created a special department in his army for adult education. In the early 1960's the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) continued the struggle for both literacy and liberation. After the National Literacy Crusade, Nicaagua's illiteracy rate was reduced from 50 per cent to 13 per cent. By contrast, the authors indicate that in Honduras and Guatemala illiteracy is well above th 50 percent; in Brazil it is 40 per cent; in India 72 per cent; and in Peru 40 per cent.

The booklet argues that the key to Nicargua's success in the campaign lies in the popular natue of the revolution that took place. To a large extent it was the young people who had fought in the war who became the literacy brigadistas. They understood that overthrowing Somoza was not enough; the revolution had to be immediately deepened and carried forward so that everyone could participate fully. Literacy was a cornerstone in the building of a democratic and socialist society.

This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1982.

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