Friday, March 18, 2011

More live blogging: Ixmukané takes to the air

So, I am again spending a Friday meeting with compañeras from Ixmukané -- this is a meeting that is a continuation of a process that began several months ago, of a "social audit" (auditoria social). It seems to be a process of taking stock of what has happened in specific communities, each of which has had its own "auditoria social", and then sharing ideas. There are representatives from I'm not sure how many communities: Chinique, Zacualpa, Joyabaj, Chichicastenango, San Andrés Sajcabajá, San Bartolomé, Cunén, Patzité, and perhaps others.  But potentially the most exciting part of today's work is the installation of a radio antenna so that the women can begin their own pirate (or DIY) radio station.  

Radio is an important mode of communication in rural communities throughout Latin America, for a variety of reasons. With high rates of illiteracy, radio is much more accessible than printed news. For isolated rural areas, radio signals often reach where other media (TV, for example) might not -- at least before the satellite/cable explosion.  In areas that  do not have complete electrification, a transistor allows a rural household to have some access to news and information (or entertainment). Also, a radio is much less expensive than a television, so it's relatively accessible in terms of cost.  

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