Pantera Cartonera at Pitt


The Cartonera Publishing trend began in Buenos Aires in 2003 and was organized by writers and artists producing hand-made books at low-cost using recycled cardboard, (thus the name "cartonera"). The books are produced in a collective-circular way, in which authors become – designers become – publishers become – authors. The Cartonera phenomenon has expanded across the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Many have “recycled” the model, adapting it to their local contexts, communities, and social needs. Pantera Cartonera is a joint initiative between the Center for Latin American Studies and the University Library System that aims to:

  • Promote ways in which language, social studies, and science can be fostered using imagination and creativity
  • Promote the stories and philosophies of the global Cartonera movement
  • Offer customized workshops for teachers, students, parents, children and the community at large
  • Present new model for books to enter culture, including creators and contents that may not have access through traditional publishing
  • Reinforce that books produced are the property of the creators, with design, production, and sharing done by the creator with guidance and support from Pantera Cartonera

Explore the history of the Cartoneras publishing trend on the ULS webiste here.

Teacher Training Workshops

Our workshop is available to Pittsburgh area K-12 teachers and community groups. Our goal is to promote literacy and encourage creativity using recycled materials for language acquisition, social studies, creative writing, art, and science using experiential learning. If you are interested in engaging with a PanteraCartonera Teacher Training Workshop, contact Luz Amanda Hank at
Workshop Objectives: 
  • Identify and describe a Cartonera
  • Better understand Latin America and how the Cartonera movement began
  • Think about what cartonera could mean in their classroom and understand next steps in building a community of authors/designers/publishers within their school
  • Be familiar with how recycling and literacy go together in projects that are undertaken in socio-economic context
  • Experiment with creative approaches to vocabulary, drawings, and illustrations
  • Create partnerships and collaborations with teachers on different subject areas at their school

The Pantera Cartonera Team

Martha Mantilla, Librarian for Latin American Studies
Luz Amanda Hank, Assistant Director for Partnerships and Programming, CLAS
Alexis Takoushian, Administrative and Program Assistant, CLAS
Clare Withers, ULS Archives and Special Collections
Megan Massanelli, A&C Engagement & Outreach Librarian