October 29, 2018
My name is Ali Gonzalez from the Indigenous Boruca community in the south of Costa Rica. I am a one of Cultural Survival’s Indigenous Community Media Youth Fellows. I had the pleasant experience of participating in the Second Central America Community Radio Network Meeting held in Panajachel, Guatemala. I was also invited by Sobrevivencia Cultural and World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).
I had the opportunity to express my concerns about the work done within the network, and also had a voice and vote at the meeting. I went as a guest without thinking I would not be participating that much, to the extent of becoming part of the Central American Network committee. It was a great pleasure to meet more youth and senior radio journalists in Central America, and create alliances with other radio stations, hear about their experiences and struggles in their countries and about claiming the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Thank you to the organizers for creating a space as enriching as it was on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Observing the daily life in Guatemala, I saw that the reality is very different from our peoples and this serves as a basis for exchange of ideas, like the pros and cons of technology, without leaving out the wisdom of the elders. The meeting was a a space to share, express, and feel that you can continue to build better ways to make changes, to see each other as partners where each one contributes in a unique way towards the realization of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. It was a pleasant surprise to see so much cultural richness, struggles, and demands in such a short time. I hope to continue share my ideas and my reality to create more ties in our community work.