To preserve, promote, and conserve the Maya Yucateca language among adults, children and young people, as it is the latter who have lost interest in communicating and expressing themselves in their mother tongue. Social networks, cellular phones, urban planning of the rural sector are factors that contribute to the loss of identity. Information technology and communication might be considered threats, but for us, they are opportunities to spread the use of the language. Community radio and Facebook are communication tools for youth recognition of their language.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Tahdziu, Yucatán, Mexico
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
Tahdziu, the poorest Yucatan community, producers of corn and artisanal garbs (huipil) are found in the south of the state. The youth and adolescents devalue their language because of modernity. This will not be done alongside the grandparents since it is a source of knowledge for the youths. We will work with young people since they are in contact with the radio and social networks, Internet and cellular phones. There are two cyber cafes but they are not enough, the adults are the most affected in terms of technology since they are barely beginning to be part of communication through cell phones, through which one can look for the existence of an intergenerational contact and for the youths and children to be those who involve the adults in technology in an educational and cultural manner
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
We will interview grandparents and youths with the goal of finding out the different visions and arriving at a confrontation of learning and value of the language in an intergenerational way. The gathering of information will be carried out with wise people in the community and with young people, who are devaluing the language, spots will be carried out on the community radio, videos will be spread through the social network (Facebook). The role that the participants will play is being promoters of the maya yucateco language for its revaluation and preservation.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
We are organized on an inter-municipal network for young people, with four Yucatán municipalities (Tahdziu, Cantamayec, Mayapán, Tixmehuac), we expected some 300 youths to carry out different activities in their communities according to their initiatives and interest (sports, culture, communication, health, video). We are collaborating and are part of the project: (Municipalization to improve administrative capacities) promoted by education culture and ecology AC. They have been working in the region for five years in community organization, production, savings, citizenship and now collaborate with us in the youth network and radio. We rely on a tight relationship with the municipal government, which facilitates and supports the activities we are carrying out in the community.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
Directly about 100 youths
Indirectly 1000 youths
The young people have created a youth network that covers 4 municipalities and does different activities from their perspectives and community needs. The youths from Tahdziu, which is where we hope to carry out the project, counts on a local community radio station that has broadcasts every day and is directed by the youths, we consider this tool important to be able to communicate and spread the use of the language. All of the programs that the station broadcasts are in the Mayan language, the social networks like Facebook are tools that the youths use daily, they will be used to spread the activities to the municipalities. Actions that aim to maintain continuous youth participation.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The group of young people have different levels of education. The idea of the radio arises from a young immigrant from the United States, where he had his first approach to community radio stations, three young women are students working on their technical degrees in agro-ecology and have their education in radio through courses they have taken in different communication workshops, there are two classmates that have the initiative to create a radio station with programs about indulgences and savings advertising.
The youths have formed an indigenous radio station at the National Indigenous Center, their participation has been voluntary, the youth radio has programs on the environment, youth life, traditions and customs, youth morning shows and indulgences.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
A desktop computer, a 25 watt radio transmitter, a 150 kgh transmitter antenna, audio mixer, 2 microphones, 1 headphone, a chair, desks, a homemade video camera, physical space. We use the most simple materials for transmission as you will see in the video. The Internet connection is via broadband.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
The activities that we are carrying out, such as the youth forum, local and inter-municipal football (soccer) championship, community radio, are ones that have allowed us to have knowledge of the people in the community, through which the relationship is one of respect and mutual admiration due to the different activities that each person takes part in from their perspectives. The relationship that we have with the EDAC organizations, which have had a presence in the communities for many years and has done social and community development work allows us to have more confidence from the people.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Among the main challenges is the low acceptance of the project on behalf of the youths since we have to be fighting with technology and the advantages that use of Facebook and cellular devices gives the youngsters at this time. As such we are going to make technology our ally in order to spread the good of the project, striving for the youth interest to not only be one of technology clientelism but rather that they use it as an ally of education, culture and the spread of knowledge.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
One of the methods will be the number of members that we will be able to get to add themselves to the Facebook page, where important topics of the language will be discussed. Short surveys will be conducted at the start and finish of the project in order to observe their interest and the effects on the youths. Another way will be the interest of people that listen to the radio, mainly the program on conservation and preservation of the Maya language. (it is the audience that the program has) which will be measured with simple surveys at the beginning and periodically over the course of the project.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
Timeline of Activities
01/05/2013 Start and Broadcasting of the project
01/06/2013 to 01/07/2013 Survey of the start of activities
01/07/2013 to 01/10/2013 Interviews and Material Editing
01/10/2013 to 01/03/2014 Transmission of created materials
03/04/2014 Project evaluation
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
8 scholarships for direct members of the project.
Concept Quantity Cost (USD)
Radio – recorders (2) – $220
Cameras – video camera (3) – $350
Laptop (1) – $600
Stationery (1 pack) – $100
Computer supplies (1 pack) – $120
Broadband Internet (1 pack) – $650
Transportation and travel allowance
Gas (1) – $1000
Exchange trip for 3 people – $600
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
1. Support to spread the word about our work
2. Exchange of experiences with other related projects through the Internet or in person.
3. Training in communication materials
Wilfrido Castillo Valle
Emprendedores del Desarrollo Comunitario AC