Cuba, 1961: 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Over half were women.

MAESTRA explores this story through the personal testimonies of the young women who went out to teach literacy in rural communities across the island—and found themselves deeply transformed in the process.


Educational license from Women Make Movies

Home video streaming for $4.99 on Vimeo

Watch for free on Kanopy


Black Maria Film Festival, Winner Director’s Choice Award, Indie Fest, Winner,
Best Woman Filmmaker Award, Ojai Film Festival, Honorable Mention





Educator Resources and Study Guide

Maestra, 8-minute version

Maestra | One Page Promo Flyer


Maestra | Undergraduate Curriculum Guide
Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies

Maestra | High School Study Guide
English | By Natalia Fernández

Map of Cuba Today

Map of Havana 1901


On The 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign
By Jessie English

On Creating Digital Community Oral History Archives
By Jessie English

UNESCO: 1965 Report On The Cuban Literacy Campaign

Women Gender In The 1961 Literacy Campaign
By Ann Halbert-Brooks

Gender & History Journal: An Army of Educators
By Rebecca Herman

Perspectives On The Cuban Literacy Campaign
By Ruth Supko

NACLA Review: Freedom Through A Pencil
By Sujatha Fernández

UnBoxed Article
By Timoteo Delgado

UNESCO: Understandings Of Literacy


All Educator Resources and Study Guides