Meet Gabriel, Budding Citizen Journalist

Meet Gabriel Zuleta. He has easily been one of the most enthusiastic new bloggers in the Voces Bolivianas – Santa Cruz project. His blog is called Eufenismos [es] (Euphemisms) Always ready to help, he was instrumental in gathering all of the participants for the closing ceremony held in March. One afternoon in May, I had a long layover in Santa Cruz, so I called Gabriel to see if he was willing to accompany us around the various parts of the Plan 3000 neighborhood to record testimonies and stories from residents after the May 4 Autonomy Referendum. He readily jumped at the opportunity and walked the dusty roads of the outlying areas of Santa Cruz. Together with Santa Cruz coordinator, Jessica Olivares, we interviewed directors of schools where the voting took place, caretakers of schools where ballots were stolen, election officials, and others who witnessed some of the incidents of violence.

Gabriel has the making of a great citizen journalist, as he is very knowledgable about places and people in his neighborhood. For someone in his early 20s, he knows an enormous amount about the history of this part of Santa Cruz that rarely is seen in the mainstream media. Perhaps, most importantly, he is also very curious and unshy when it comes to interviewing others. Here is one interview he helped conduct of the caretaker of one of the schools where ballots were stolen in the middle of the night.

In this video, Gabriel takes us the school where he voted and fortunately, there was no incidents of violence.