Voces Bolivianas: Augmenting Digital Literacy In Bolivia

Canal Solidario is a Spanish language online portal for news and resources developed by a team of journalists. Recently it has featured the Rising Voices grantee Voces Bolivianas:

The Digital Literacy Project began in September 2007 with a pilot project, 23 participants opened their own blogs, talk about their experiences and shared stories of their communities through the Internet. This first experience was “very gratifying”, as its leaders, barely five months later, the regions of El Alto and Santa Cruz started similar projects. (machine translation)

Here is a slide show by Hugo Miranda showing the progress of the Voces Bolivianas project [es]:

Meanwhile you might be interested to learn how the project affected the Voces Bolivianas bloggers. Cristina Quisbert writes in World Pulse in a post titled “Dealing with Web 2.0″:

To sit down in front of a computer is something really important for me. I know that lots of women can´t not do this, neither in my country nor in other countries. In general, although women are half of the world or more, access to to mass media is limited, sometimes nearly impossible, so to have the possibility to use tools involved in Web 2.0, I think is a challenge, an opportunity to communicate what we have to say. In my case, I am eager to know stories of women of other countries. Probably, I will never know them personally but I can learn about their own life experiences and I can share with them women situation too. […]

Mass media sometimes covers only what men have to say. To navigate in the internet and to use these tools gives me a feeling of strength and motivation. I am in process of learning. When I opened a gmail account I was surprised and when I wrote my first posts I was also surprised. Insecure at first, but step to step I am gaining confidence and this has a positive meaning for me.

Cristina portrays the indigenous culture of Bolivia to the world readers in her English blog Indigenous Bolivia and Spanish language blog Bolivia Indigena.

She writes about Kallawaya, one of the ancient indigenous peoples in Bolivia and posts a video of the Tarqueada Dance in La Paz, Bolivia.

The “tarqueada” it is danced in the main feast when the blooming of the sown fields is celebrated which is in Anata or Andean Carnival, when the happiness enjoyment and games are manifest, a real manifestation of a celebration and the beginning of the period of harvest.

She also writes about the carnival in Bolivia and posts a video:

Cristina celebrated the first anniversary of her English blog. She started her Spanish blog in September 2007.

Resistencia Bolivia 2009, a blog dedicated to rock scene of Bolivia and a member of Voces Bolivianas (Santa Cruz), informs:

The international television channel MTV Latin America that reaches more than 30 countries of the Spanish-speaking world has included in its programming, for the first time (Querembas) a band from Santa Cruz.

Mario Duran discusses how to create a network of distributed minipost (RMD) of the bloggers. He also debates a remark of the government official that ‘Bolivia is worthy of wearing used clothes from United States’ and shows how the local clothing industry can provide alternatives.

The Voces Bolivianas Flickr page has uploaded pictures of the celebration of 24th founding day of El Alto city. In an administrative reform on March 6, 1985 the district of El Alto and surroundings was politically separated from the City of La Paz. Every year all the social organizations participates in this important event.

Meanwhile Hugo Miranda informs about more seminars which will take place in La Paz, Bolivia about earning money from blogs, initiatives about introducing OLPC (One laptop per child) project in Bolivia. etc.


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