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Introducing the winners of the ALAS-IDB 2017 Awards

In a highly competitive edition, among the winners of the awards that celebrate educational innovation for early childhood development we find Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala.

Washington, DC, Nov 9. - The President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, the Chief of the Education Division at the IDB, Emiliana Vegas, and Juan Antonio Pungiluppi from the ALAS Foundation, headed by the international artist and activist Shakira, presented the winners of the ALAS-IDB 2017 Awards to excellency in educational indicatives for early childhood in Latin America and the Caribbean.

After a long, rigorous selection process that included reviewing over 1,200 nominations proceeding from 21 countries throughout the region as well as intense debating by an international jury comprised of experts on childhood education, the winners of this 2017 edition for each of the four categories are:

Best Children’s Book:

From Guatemala City, Guatemala: “Toti y la Luna” (Toti and the Moon), written and illustrated by Jessica Perez

Best Teacher:

From Bogota, Colombia: Carlos Eduardo Prieto Vera

Best Center:

Representing Guatemala City, Guatemala: Fundación Guatemalteca Para Niños con Sordoceguera Alex (FUNDAL, The Guatemalan Foundation for Deaf and Blind Children)

Best Innovation in Early Childhood Development:

From Brasilia, Brazil: Teatro de la Primera Infancia La Casa Incierta (The Uncertain House Children’s Theatre)

This year, the awards ceremony was made part of a larger event on the importance of children’s executive functions, in which many internationally acclaimed personalities participated such as Jamaica’s Minister of Education Ruel Reed, with an intervention on how to develop policies that improve children’s executive functions; student Belen Barreto, leader of the first Latin American team to win LEGO’s first international robotics tournament in Houston; the neuroscientist Philip Zelazo; Stephanie Jones, teacher of Psychology; and CNN’s 2016 Hero of the Year, Jeison Aristizábal – uniting their voices to acknowledge educational excellence in a ceremony that ended with the performance of renowned international dance group Galpão Aplauso.

The ALAS-IDB Awards were designed to acknowledge and promote the commitment of those who work hard for early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The ALAS Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank wish to use this opportunity to extend their warmest congratulations to the winners and thank all the finalists for their exemplary work to improve the experiences of young children during the crucial years of their childhoods.

For more information on the winners and finalists of this year’s edition of the award and to nominate yourself or someone who works passionately for early childhood education in the region, please sign up to our newsletter and visit our website at

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.