The project is an initiative by students in San Pedro Sula to present the realities of various indigenous groups through an ethnographic study. These groups are often marginalized and ostracized from society. By creating awareness of these problems we are one step closer to resolving them. I had previously given cinematographic tutorials in Honduras with the director of the project through the organization OYE Adelante Jovenes. I plan to use the money to produce this project and provide equipment. Unfortunately, the crowd-funding campaign we initiated only achieved 190$ of it's goal.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
El Progreso, Yoro, Honduras
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
I guided Sandra Fiallos, the instigator of this project through tutorials when I volunteered with her at OYE. When I was working there last summer, OYE was about to open a new chapter in the organization, so we both started a digital media workshop where we taught media skills to high school students. We have done research together and are both very interested in the struggle of indigenous land rights. The community of students that is running as a crew to the project is also well learned about the history of the ethnic groups through the University of San Pedro Sula. The research on indigenous groups in Honduras is incredibly low and their voice needs to be heard. The students are somewhat familiar with the programs and digital editing. It would be a great way to pass on the knowledge.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Sandra Fiallos: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.a.fiallos?fref=ts
Gerald Velasquez: https://www.facebook.com/gerald.o.velasquez.3?fref=ts
Oscar Osorio: https://www.facebook.com/osorioeduardooscar?fref=ts
Fabiola Oro: https://www.facebook.com/fabyoro?fref=ts
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
We will present testimonies and stories of the hardships these indigenous populations live. Presenting language, customs, traditions, activities and daily routines we get a sense of what life in Honduras. The film will be divided into segments that focus of the three different ethnic groups that include the Tawacas, Miskitos, and the Lencas. These transitions will show their cultural differences exemplifying diversity on Honduas. The participants will take place in conducting interviews, camera operations, annotations on anthropological observations, and learning visual aesthetics.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
We talk constantly over digital media sites and keep each other updated. I spent a lot of time with the organization OYE Adelante Jovenes and we are able to use their facilities to edit. This partnership is primarily between students who worked at the organization and students from the University of San Pedro Sula. I grew up in Puerto Rico and I am fluent in Spanish and share that cultural connection. At the same time, I am able to break boundaries because I am also an American born in Pennsylvania. My multi-cultural identity is another positive aspect that benefits the learning of the students.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
Acting as the cinematographer of the documentary, I will be able to guide them through the process of making a feature film and the editing process. This will better equip them to continue making digital media and inspire them to get involved in the digital media sharing. As an electronic arts graduating senior from Bard College I feel very confident in my skills to guide them through this project. I have done similar ethnographic work and have produced, directed, shot and edited a documentary on Puerto Ricans artists in New York City.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
I will be graduating from Bard College this semester with a degree in electronic arts and film production. I have taken writing workshops, journalism and other diverse classes ranging from computer science to the physics of sound. Technology is very important to this community because it helps them feel more connected to the world. Being able to express themselves and have their message shown is a great opportunity for youth. It can inspire others to do the same.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
At the high school in El Progreso, US AID recently donated new computers to a class of about twenty students. It includes a projector from which I can conduct the editing workshop. This way we will be able to learn how to associate images and make the information presented coherent. I am fluent in Spanish so it would be easy for me to hold this workshop and I already have experience in doing it over the summer.
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?
I communicate with them since the inception of the project and tried to crowd fund the source through my college and social media sites, but it didn't work out. We have been searching for opportunities since the falling through of the funds. I already have developed a relationship with the community, strong friendships, and cultural understanding that is important to have when collaborating on a project such as this.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Honduras is labeled as the most violent country in the world by news reporters but I want to break this image of the country. A challenge to me is conquering my fear of being attacked or assaulted, but I realize that as long as one has a positive outlook you can face anything. When I was there for more than a month nothing happened to me and Hondurans are some of the most friendly people in the world.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
I will define success by that information presented in the documentary, firstly. I would like to see it screened at institutions of learning and difference in Honduras and and other countries. By uploading it on Youtube and sharing it for everyone to see it definitely an advantage. The success depends on how engaging it is and how many people watch it.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
June 1-7: Travel to Honduras with equipment and meet with the crew. During this time we will travel to Olancho deparment to discover the Tawacas.
June 7-14 Travel to Gracias a Dios department. Here are the Miskitos.
June 15- 21: Travel to Intibucá, Peace, Lempira departments. Here are the Lenka.
June 22- Mid July: Editing the film and workshops.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
I need to purchase my travel ticket to Honduras which is about 500$. This saves on equipment rental because I can bring my own equipment.
The other costs will go to food and gas throughout the month for five people. Gas I calculate at about 500$, and food for five people for about a month and a half would be about 300$ each in Honduras.
Fortunately, we have a car and access to the facilities where we will edit.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
When the documentary is finished, it is important the Rising Voices supports it and helps spread the word to have our message heard by others around the world.
University of San Pedro Sula Student Club
Link to Existing Project
April 6, 2014