In Guatemala, DW Akademie supports those who are aiming to bring about change – through information.
A mobile radio studio on a Guatemalan schoolyard. Radio Sónica, one of DW Akademie's partners in Guatemala, offers disadvantaged young people the opportunity to express themselves.
Guatemala is among the Latin American countries with the highest social disparities. Malnutrition is widespread, many people lack healthcare, and schools are few. State resources are often siphoned off. People, however, rarely know the cause of the problems and are unaware of their legal rights.
Those living in regions outside the capital often receive only the channels owned by a private television monopoly. There are few radio stations in Guatemala, and although though more than 20 languages are spoken here, most stations broadcast only in Spanish. As a result, those who only speak another native language and do not understand Spanish cannot access information and are excluded from public life. This is where DW Akademie steps in.
In Guatemala, DW Akademie promotes new and direct communication for those without access to independent information. DW Akademie works with journalists as well as human rights organizations. With our partner Guatecambia we support civil society members in requesting relevant information from local authorities, and presenting it so that others can understand it. We also help develop digital tools to minimize dependence on conventional media.
We advise developers of communications concepts for the media – for example, the Guatemalan Institute for Radio Education (IGER). Its radio station Radio Sónica offers disadvantaged young people the opportunity to freely express their opinions and, with its "mobile studio" visits schoolyards in disadvantaged districts. As a pioneer in media and information literacy (MIL), the station introduces young people to critical media use and is increasingly working with teachers.
Radio Sayaxché is also part of IGER and can be received in Guatemala's rural north. The station is a platform for Maya communities and with volunteers produces an independent program in the local languageQ'eqchí. The station is unique in Petén province and includes those who speak little or no Spanish at all.
Together with partners, DW Akademie offers safety courses for journalists, and also works with the Plaza Pública digital medium in the training of journalists from rural areas.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country Coordinator: Johannes Metzler
Locations: Guatemala City, Sayaxché
Local Partners: Instituto Guatemalteco de Educación Radiofónica (IGER), Guatecambia/ Congreso Transparente, Memorial para la Concordia, Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional, Plaza Pública, Comunicares, Universidad Rafael Landívar
Focus: Access to information, the right to freedom of expression, participation of disadvantaged groups, civic engagement, participatory media formats, reconciliation with the past