Zapata Radio 94.1 FM is a community radio born in the community of Buena Vista, in the municipality of San Luis Acatlan, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. This community media project is the result of a year of reflection in the assemblies of 22 indigenous communities. Broadcasting began on November 15, 2014 and the radio was inaugurated on April 10, 2015, when it was heard in 21 municipalities in the Costa Chica and Montaña region of Guerrero.
Last June, 2015, Tropical Storm Carlos, which evolved into a Category I hurricane, destroyed much of the equipment and facilities at Radio Zapata, as well as the roof of the community health center. In response to this situation, the community assemblies decided to rebuild the radio. However, up until now they have only been able to rebuild a small part of the radio’s equipment and the roof of the health center through community volunteer efforts, therefore it has been impossible to resume broadcasting.
Radio Zapata is not only a means of communication, but also an area of vital importance to the dissemination and revitalization of indigenous language and culture. Above all, it is a crucial element for the organization and defense of the community, as it is located in one of the most marginalized regions hit by the structural violence that exists in Guerrero.
We need to join efforts to revive the community work of the radio, which is why Radio Zapata and CICC invite you to participate in this collective campaign. With your help we can raise the funds needed to restore the radio and thus contribute to the work of Na'Savi and Me'phaa communities of the Montaña region of Guerrero, in producing their own media, deciding its content and giving life to their community radio.
Main features and goals of the crowdfunding campaign
Zapata Radio is a media project that seeks to contribute to collective reflection by sharing information of various kinds, with the aim of reversing the conditions of marginalization and extreme violence that exists in the region. In this sense, Radio Zapata aims to provide radio programming in Spanish and various Indigenous languages with five basic objectives:
- To serve as a space for communication and community outreach.
- To revitalize culture and the Ñamnkué (Amuzgo), Na'Savi (Mixtec), me'phaa (Tlapanec) and Nahuatl indigenous languages.
- To provide cultural and educational alternatives as a means to eliminate violence.
- To promote the integral development of communities by boosting local consumption and production.
- To combat violence and discrimination against women and to provide reliable information on sexual and reproductive health.
With this project, the 21 municipalities that were previously able to tune into Radio Zapata will once again have this media outlet for sharing their memory, presenting their needs and organizing their communities.
Once regional transmission is restored, a community space with computer equipment and internet service will be set up. This is a fundamental tool for the collective radio production and communication related to the objectives of Radio Zapata as it will allow exchange with people from other countries, including some who have had the opportunity to learn about the project and share their experiences. The idea is also to expand this communication network to other organizations and geographies.
Radio Zapata is the second link in the construction of a larger regional community project called the Casa de Saberes (House of Knowledge), in which 22 communities of the region are involved. This community project seeks to solve various problems in the region through the strengthening of key areas such as access to health, the revitalization of Indigenous language and culture, access to information and the protection of historical memory, and strengthening the local market. This is work is carried out through autonomous, community-based thinking that characterizes these communities.
The restoration of Radio Zapata is essential to the continuation and strengthening this community dream.
Why this is important
Our main motivation arises from the conviction that is held by the peoples of the Radio Zapata, despite the conditions of poverty and marginalization in which they live. Far from surrendering to these issues, they remain facilitators and promoters of the organization and the practice of their collective rights in their communities. The support that the CICC will provide seeks to contribute to these long-term processes in order to strengthen forms of community life and build proposals while walking together as communities.
This invitation is addressed to all those noble hearts around the world who want to support the strengthening of the Indigenous peoples’ autonomy. To achieve this, it is essential to combine the efforts of all those who share the recognition of the organizational experience of Indigenous peoples, not only as a contribution to this region, state or country, but also as an example of dignity for humanity.
Goals of the crowdfunding campaign
- Reset radio broadcasts: With the funds raised, the transmission equipment that was damaged in June, 2015, will be repaired in order to resume Radio Zapata’s broadcasting .
- Reconstruct the roof for workshop space: wood and sheet metal needed to re-roof and rehabilitate this community space will be acquired.
- Acquire a re-transmitter: With this equipment, the radio booth can be moved around to different communities, thus increasing people’s participation on the radio.
In the medium term:
- Acquire computer equipment and satellite internet: Community space donated by the community of Buena Vista will be set up and used as an area for research and radio productions.
- Organize computer and internet workshops: To train the communication promoters of different communities.
- Prepare a working plan for the community research space: this will be planned together with the communities.
The Integral Center for Community Media (CICC in Spanish) is a group of people who have a background in areas such as journalism, photography, linguistics, law, psychology, environment and social economy. Currently we are concentrating our efforts on supporting and strengthening community communication processes with indigenous peoples in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Michoacan and the State of Mexico.
In 2010, we started a process of training and support for the communication commission of the Acapatzingo Housing Cooperative, located in one of the most marginalized regions of Mexico City. We worked on various areas in order to strengthen the capacity of the commission to investigate and disseminate relevant topics for the community and encourage critical reflection.
In 2012, young people of Na Savi, Me'phaa, Nahua, Ñamnkué and African descent, began a process of training to run a community media project in the Costa Chica - Montaña region of Guerrero. The accompaniment was completed with the creation of the community newspaper, La Luciérnaga.
In 2013, we began our accompaniment of Radio Zapata, where access to information relevant to the communities and the rescue of indigenous languages and culture were the main motives of the process.
In late 2015, we began the accompaniment of Nahua and Ñatho-Otomi peoples for the creation of a magazine and community radio in the State of Mexico.