“Jatta Wöötanö – Yekuana Etno-communicators” is a digital media training project and information and communication technologies (ICTs) targeted at least 15 indigenous youth from the community of Boca de Ninchare located in the central part of the Caura River in the state of Bolívar in Venezuela. The place is characterized by having access to the Internet via satellite service provided by the National Telecommunications Company (CANTV), along with beautiful jungle scenery that make up the spaces used for training.
The innovative initiative is what we are calling “ethno-communicators,” which are members of the indigenous communities interested and skilled in the use of media and ICT tools. The youth possesses a deep knowledge of their culture, as well as the sensitivity, creativity, and responsibility to create content according to the realities of their people.
The project team consists of educators, cultural promoters and communication specialists, all with expertise in indigenous and cultural issues. They have historically been partners of the Indigenous University of Venezuela (UIV). The collective is made up of:
- Saúl López: primary liaison with indigenous communities and youth participants. He is from the Yekuana ethnicity and also a graduate student and professor at the Indigenous University of Venezuela, where he serves as coordinator of Educomunication.
- Danny Franco: academic coordinator of the project. He holds a degree in Education, majoring in Educational Sciences from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas. He is also Professor at the Experimental Indigenous University of Venezuela in the areas of critical use of ICT, social and indigenous community development projects.
- Fernando Carías: senior project manager. He graduated with a degree in the Arts from the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) with an emphasis on Cultural Promotion. He also has postgraduate studies in Education, Communication and Educational Technologies. He is Professor at the Experimental Indigenous University of Venezuela in areas ethno-communication, media education and critical use of ICTs.
One of the first activities of the grantee project was held on September 29, with a meeting between program coordinators and the Kuyujani indigenous organization, the collective ally that advocates for the interests of the Yekuana and Sanema communities in the and the Caura River basin.
The meeting served to present the ideas and objectives of the activities that will take place in the coming months in the Boca Ninchare community, which will be the epicenter of the digital media (social networking) trainings offered to the indigenous youth. The Kuyujani organization offered all the necessary logistical support for transportation and sharing the open call for participants, as well as their interest to provide similar activities in other communities in the future.