Eloisa Cartonera is a publishing project that was started by the writer Washington Cucurto who was born in Quilmes (my hometown).
The people that collect cardboard in the streets for selling are called “Cartoneros”.
Eloisa Cartonera is an underground publisher which gives the “cartoneros” work, by buying their cardboard at a higher price than usual per kilo.
“Cartoneros” are also invited to collaborate in the publishing, by making the books covers and hand paint them. They are paid for this, and the purpose of the project is to generate genuine work and give people in the streets the possibility to have another kind of job, and a better living.
Eloisa publishes Latin-American vanguard writers and unpublished material.
We visited the premises and talked to Maria, a Social Communication student who came to do a uni assignment, and she stayed working in the project.
They have a small press for printing the books in-house. Each book is unique, as the covers are hand made and painted.
The idea of the underground publisher generating work for people in need has been taken as a model and implemented in other countries in Latin-America.
Eloisa Cartonera has a website: http://www.eloisacartonera.com.ar/eloisa/home.html