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Our History

It was the year 2003, Mario Gamboa, having emigrated from Peru, started his life in Washington, D.C. While work was plentiful he began a contracting business of gardening and painting employing a couple more workers as his business grew. It was during a hot afternoon evening when he left written instructions to his workers explaining the work they would be doing.  Once he came back they admitted they couldn’t read as feared they would be fired for having poor educational background, however Mario invited them to his house to teach them.


The story of CENAES begins here: While the two workers invited friends, the group grew, and subsequently the attraction naturally grew to accommodate and graduate over six hundred students in the DC metropolitan area. Today, the nonprofit has 20 volunteers teaching 3 levels every day in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area ensuring these classes are free to any and all students. The aim of CENAES is to raise awareness over the illiteracy rate that till this day topples over 32 million in America.

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