Cuban Methodist leader in education, women’s work, and mission
Luisa Garcia Acosta (Gonzalez) devoted her life to education. A graduate in teacher education of Colegio Buenavista, a Methodist school in Havana, Cuba, and of Havana University, with a doctor of education degree, she became principal of Phillips School and led that institution in its growth from sixty to over a thousand students, turning it into one of the best schools in Cuba. She also taught Spanish literature at Candler College, a Methodist institution in Havana. Luisa was active in all levels of the work of the church in Cuba, including its women’s organizations. Under her leadership, the Sociedad Femenina de Servicio Christiana (the Woman’s Society of Christian Service) of the Cuban Annual Conference was organized, and she served as its first president from 1941 to 1945. She was an ordained lay elder of the Cuban Conference and later a member of the Costa Rican Conference. With her husband Justo Gonzalez and Eulalia Cook, she founded “Alfalit,” a literacy program active in twelve Latin American countries, responsible for teaching over a million persons how to read and write. A prolific author, she wrote the series of Alfalit books designed to give adults a sixth-grade competence level.
Taken from They Went Out Not Knowing… An Encyclopedia of One Hundred Women in Mission (New York: Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, 1986). Used with permission of United Methodist Women.