Cultural Survival's 2019 Indigenous Youth Community Media Fellows are hard at work. The Fellowship Project aims to support young Indigenous leaders between the ages of 16-26, who are committed and eager to learn about technology, program development, journalism, community radio, media, and Indigenous Peoples’ rights advocacy. Capacity of the fellows will be built through trainings, community radio station exchanges, and conference attendance. Read about what our Youth Fellows have been up to.
Kankuamo Youth Commission (Kankuamo) from Atanquez, Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, Colombia
"The word was given to live in harmony, in union. To communicate is to interpret the movements of nature, it is the knowledge that comes through the dream, it is the prevention of health. There are birds that warn, we must go to the knowledgeable to know how to prevent." --Mayor Kankuamo
The Kankuamo youth have carried out activities with elders of the community. They recently hosted an elder from Kankuamo, Daniel Maestre to discuss the importance of taking care of land and the relationship with oneself, emphasizing responsibilities. How do we commit to a shared responsibility? Youth reflected on this question and the ancestral practices of how the land has been managed in the past.
The youth also participated in a second session of audiovisual training lead by Jefry Montero, youth facilitator from Kankuamo, learning general concepts of communication. Between the training sessions youth went out into the community, cleaning up garbage and discussing alternative solutions in preventing future trash accumulation.
Jose Daniel Arias, a member of the group shares: “Our greatest learning has been the sharing of the word, the opportunity to learn from our elders and the possibility of creating and building something together. Understanding our role as Indigenous community journalists has allowed us to come to terms with a stronger commitment to our territory, culture, values and elders."
Youth fellows from Radio Kimsakocha in Cuenca, Ecuador
Manuel David Loja Pugo, Jessica Tatiana Sarango Rumipulla, and Cristofer Arévalo have been actively investigating and interviewing elder Indigenous leaders of the Cuenca area who have been protecting the sacred water for many generations. Tarquí, a village in Cuenca, where the community radio is based, is the only community that has had their own community-based water management system for over 47 years. Historically, the Kichwa community has been in conflict with a hydroelectric company, struggling to protect their only source of water from contamination and exploitation. A neighboring village has already lost their source of water because of a mining company operating in the area that has contaminated the local river. For this reason, the youth have been documenting the stories of the historic struggle of their community to reinforce the need to protect water. This is part of a radio program series to raise awareness of the need for environmental conservation.