Consejo as a literacy event: A case study of a border Mexican woman

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Drawing on sociocultural approaches to literacy and literature on the communal spaces of teaching and learning of Latinas, I share one Mexicana’s life story and analyze her literacies and ways of knowing in order to give consejo. Using data gathered through individual interviews and observations, I present the case of Lucía, the owner of a burrito’s restaurant. She read and wrote with the goal of giving consejo to her children, siblings, friends, and her customers. She reads the Bible, the newspaper, and self-help books in order to give consejo to her customers about marriage and life in general. In addition, Lucía writes prison inmates giving them consejo and hope. This literacy practice had the purpose of sharing information, maintaining social networks, and helping each other out. It is part of the communal spaces of teaching and learning that Latinas create in order to build community. This paper adds to the growing body of literature that identifies Latina’s pedagogical tools in family and community contexts and challenges deficit views of transnational Latinas.

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