Join us in congratulating the winners of 2015 ALAS-IDB Awards!

Join us in congratulating the winners of 2015 ALAS-IDB Awards!

Katherina Hruskovec 11 noviembre 2015 Comments

The ALAS-IDB awards were conceived to recognize and share the commitment of individuals and organizations working in the field of early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The awards are presented by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the ALAS Foundation, which is headed by Shakira, the internationally renowned artist. Awards are given in four categories: educators, centers, publications, and innovations.

The awards recognize outstanding efforts to improve the lives of the youngest of citizens, often under difficult circumstances. One award honors the best example of children’s literature addressing socially relevant issues. In 2015 some 1,200 nominations were received, which reflects the region’s growing interest in early childhood development.

The four winners and the finalists in the four categories stand out for their commitment and dedication to early childhood development, whether through their work with vulnerable children or by grappling with issues that are rarely addressed. The winners and finalists represent many other organizations and people who work tirelessly every day on behalf of the children of the region.

The winners are:

Best Educator 


The accomplishments of Elisa Guerra are a testimony to her impact in early childhood education. She has published numerous textbooks and established six schools throughout México. She has been recognized both nationally and internationally for her innovative and impactful work, and is currently preparing to launch two new schools in Costa Rica and Brasil. Additionally, with the help of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, she is adapting her methodology for use with kids in Mexico’s low-income communities.

  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Daniel Ortiz (Bogota, Colombia)
    • Liliana del Valle Grisales (Medellin, Colombia)
    • Francy Arango Valencia (Medellin, Colombia)


Best Publication Twitter-01

The Black Book of Colors has been translated into more than 14 different languages, providing children from all parts of the world what colors taste and feel like. This book, written in braille and text, shows us how Tomás, a blind boy, smells, feels, and hears colors. Next to each page is an image of the object associated with the mentioned color, printed in relief to give texture to the picture. This way, visually impaired kids can perceive the “tartness of red” through Rosana Farías’ textured illustrations and through the lyrical text written by Menena Cottin, which remind the reader of the beauty we see when we close our eyes and feel.

  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Federico & Federico by Elena Dresser (Cuernavaca, Mexico)
    • Tito and Pepita by Amalia Low (Bogotá, Colombia)
    • Red, Blue by Mireya Tabuas (Caracas, Venezuela)


Best Innovation 

Twitter-04 (1)

Started in Bogota, Colombia, the focus of Fundacion Canguro (Kangaroo Foundation) is to reverse the negative effects of premature birth, many of which impact the way children learn and develop later on. Based on the method of how mother kangaroos take care of their infants, this innovation now has 30 years of proven, successful results, and rigorous evaluations have testified to their effectiveness. Since its foundation, the Kangaroo Foundation has been recognized by multilateral organizations and scaled their model to over thirty countries.


Best Center 


Las Golondrinas center, located in Medellin, Colombia, is seeking to restore the social fabric of their once conflicted communities by bringing together children from different backgrounds and teaching them to cooperate at an early age. They are driven by the belief that when children play together, no matter how diverse they are, can learn to resolve their conflicts in a peaceful way, and more importantly, appreciating each other’s differences.


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