ConTextos is a nonprofit organization based in El Salvador and Chicago. In Chicago, ConTextos facilitates Authors Circles with youth and young men in the Chicago area involved with the justice system in jail, court-ordered programs, or who have been identified as high-risk in their communities.
Through our programming, participants don’t learn to read and write; rather, they learn to use reading and writing as a platform for self-reflection, deep thinking, healing and community building. This is accomplished through memoir writing. During the process, participants “read as writers” as they draft and publish their own personal memoirs. The program develops literacy skills, engaged dialogue and pro-social behaviors. Participants show improved interest in learning, increased ability to reflect and have positive self-projections for the future. The process doesn’t just transform the lives of authors, but works with adults to engage with empathy and uses the stories to change hearts and minds in the private sector, within public institutions and amongst policy makers. Authors who publish through Authors Circle become a part of Authors Circle Alumni and remain connected through various activities.