ECUADOR: Just Short of a Miracle

In Ecuador, where three out of five cannot read or write, few are eligible to vote, or able to read a newspaper. Three years ago, the National Journalists' Union decided to do something about it. By last week, 100,000 Ecuadorians had learned their ABCs at one of 2,740 literacy centers scattered through the nation's remote highland valleys and coastal lowlands.

At first the union paid for the three-month course (by dues, benefit dances and bullfights). Then the Government chipped in. Teachers work free, recruiting their best students to help, on the "each one teach one" theory (TIME, Feb. 4).

The pupils, mostly...

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