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One of the most innovative popular-education projects in Latin America in the 1930s was the ayllu-school of Warisata, located near Lake Titicaca in the foothills of the eastern cordillera of the Andes. A creole educator with socialist leanings, Elizardo Pérez, teamed up with a respected Aymara leader, Avelino Siñani, and the indigenous community of Warisata to build an autonomous intercultural educational institution, despite the opposition of the local landlord class. The school was grounded in the collective organization of the traditional Aymara community (ayllu) and sought to go beyond the mere inculcation of literacy—which was the key...

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