|Rony (center) and two of his brothers|
|Pascual, one of the volunteers from|
Thus, today, when I arrived at Radio Doble Via, the community radio station in San Mateo, Quetzaltenango, planning to spend the day hanging out in the cabina, I found my friend Pascual working hard with a mason on the construction of the expanded center. Doble Via belongs to the Asociación Mujb'ab Lyol (Encounter of Expressions) -- an alliance of radio stations -- and is actually the headquarters of the Association, and with some support from international sources, the Association and the station are constructing a training center that will also have a dining room, kitchen, and rooms for guests -- so that when there are training workshops for the radios stations throughout the country, instead of having to put people up in a hotel in Xela, the participants can be accommodated here.
|With Pascual. He assures me his|
wife and many admirers will
not be jealous!
Hopefully I can bring some students here next spring to lend a hand. They are planning to finish the outline of the structure in the next couple of weeks, and then start on the second floor in October, but undoubtedly there will be work to be done in March. So, if anyone from UMD is reading this, the trip will be coordinated through one of the classes I am teaching next term, but if there is enough space I will allow other people to participate.
I also want to think about how we can raise some money for the radio stations in general. This station, Doble Via, and the one I visited earlier this week, Nojibal, each only have a single microphone in the studio. Some of the radio stations don't have any outside support and therefore they have to look for ways of paying electricity -- and maybe offering a small incentive (not a salary) to the volunteer broadcasters. It's hard when I go to a station and the volunteer staff asks for help. I have limited personal resources, and how would I prioritize writing a grant for station A versus station B? Cultural Survival provides technical assistance, subsidizes participation in the workshops, and has provided some equipment, but their mission is to see the stations as self-sustaining. Some have more ability to raise funds from their listeners than others; some have more contacts with international collaborators. So, I'm thinking on this....