Dear Maestra friends and family,

Spring is finally here and we are thrilled to share all that is blooming for our friends and collaborators.

March saw “mega-week” in Cuba, with President Obama and the Rolling Stones coming through within days of each other!

In Cuba and beyond, MAESTRA continues to inspire. We are delighted to continue sharing this story and thank you for sharing this road with us.

For more info, write us at 

Un Abrazo,

Catherine Murphy and the Maestra Team

The Obamas in Cuba

All eyes were on Cuba during President Obama’s historic visit. We were happy to hear him acknowledge Cuba’s great achievements in education! 

President Obama in Cuba. Source: White House

Rolling Stones in La Habana

In November 2015, one of our key collaborators, Kimberly Waller, Educational Consultant and PhD candidate who has been researching the Cuban Literacy Campaign, organized seven screenings in Havana and Santiago de Cuba with former literacy volunteers. 

In January, our Managing Producer, Alison Kibbe, took MAESTRA through Santiago, Camagüey, and Cienfuegos, screening with former literacy volunteers and young people.

We are thrilled that this story continues to be meaningful across the island.

Thank you to the Christopher Reynolds Foundation whose support made these tours possible, and for their  continued support throughout the life of the MAESTRA project.

Catherine Murphy with the UNiTE crew at The Rolling Stones concert.(L to R: Rochy Ameneiro, Marilyn Solaya, Julio Cesar Gonzales Pagés, and Lucia D’Emilio

Luisa Campos
U.S. Tour

This week we’re in New York City soaking up great Latin American cinema at the Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY).

Catherine will speak on a special panel about Filming and Shooting in Cuba with directors Bob Yari and Asori Soto.

Tuesday, April 12 @ 7pm
Free and Open to the Public
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
53 Washington Square South

HFFNY collaborates with Havana’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema to introduce audiences to the latest award-winning films and classics from and about Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. Latino community.

Iván Céspedes wins Premio Nacional de Cine

FELICIDADES! Iván Céspedes was awarded the National Film Prize in March.

Still an active filmmaker, Nápoles began his career at the founding of ICAIC, Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos, working closely with Santiago Alvarez on many classic cuban documentaries. 

His work has shaped the field of Cuban documentary cinema. We are honored that he graced us as a key cinematographer for MAESTRA.

Luisa Campos Coming to US for Literacy Conference

Luisa Campos, Director of the National Literacy Museum in Havana, will present at the Adult Literacy Conference at the Goodling Institute in Family Literacy at Penn State from April 24 – 29.

She will then travel to New Mexico, the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, presenting on her work with the YO SI PUEDO program, and the work of the National Literacy Museum.

New Price!

Women Make Movies will now sell MAESTRA for the at-home DVD price of $19.95. We’re thrilled that this story is now more accessible. Buy here.

The Issues:

Education | Social Justice | Cuba

Why Some Students Are Ditching America for Medical School in Cuba

U.S. students are choosing Cuba for medical school, attracted by a different vision of community health and preventative care. 

Read More

The female pioneers driving Cuba’s emerging skate scene

Director Amberly Alene Ellis’ new documentary profiles Cuba’s female skaters, pushing through obstacles even bigger than for their male counterparts.

Read more

We are raising funds to continue  distributing Maestra and to expand The Literacy Project’s work in documenting the role of literacy in social justice movements across the Americas. Follow us on social media, share with your friends, and please consider making a donation to support our work.
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