From the Publisher
In the mid-twentieth century nearly fifty percent of Colombians were illiterate. In 1947 Padre José Joaquín Salcedo, an obscure priest in the Department of Boyacá, began a unique campaign to create radio schools to teach illiterate peasants to read, write and improve their living conditions. Known as Radio Sutatenza, the project was consolidated within the Catholic Church as Acción Cultural Popular (ACPO). Within twenty years ACPO grew to include more than 20,000 individual Radio Schools enrolling 160,000 students, and its effectiveness was studied and copied by other countries in Latin America and Africa. This book analyzes Radio Sutatenza’s impact on Colombia’s eastern frontier, specifically the Department of Meta, taking into account the nature of the program, the situation of the region, the support of the local archdiocese, the participation of the peasants, and the problems which eventually contributed to ACPO’s demise.