Maestra [Teacher] is a short film directed by Catherine Murphy about eight women who volunteered as teachers in the 1961 Cuban Literacy Campaign. The project’s intention was to bring literacy instruction to previously underserved populations (primarily rural).
The campaign was very successful: during that year, over 700,000 adults learned to read and write with the help of 250,000 volunteer teachers (more than half of whom were women). Prior to the campaign, there was a drastic difference between urban and rural literacy rates–most rural Cubans had very low or no literacy. By 1962, the overall literacy rate in Cuba was 96%.