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Strengthening Maya Community Radio in Belize

Thursday 29 September 2016, by SIGNIS

Belize, September, 29th, 2016 (Cultural Survival). In the district of Toledo in Belize, Maya people represent more than half of the population, living in approximately 39 villages. The Maya have their own ancestral government system and distinct culture. Maya leaders are currently strengthening their right to collective land title of their homeland and the protection and conservation of their resources while finding innovative ways to strengthen their identity as a people through the revitalization of their culture, language, and spirituality.

Within this framework of revitalization of culture and maintaining the peoples‘ connection to the land is the Maya community radio Ak‘ Kutan. It is the only state-authorized community radio station able to reach the 39 Maya communities in southern Belize.

Two grassroots organizations, Julian Cho Society and the Maya Leaders Alliance, identified the need to strengthen community radio as the voice of the Maya; a voice that is able to transmit to different generations in their own villages; a voice that is in their own Maya languages with content that strengthens Indigenous self-determination, protection and conservation of the land and resources, community organization, and culture. The NGO Cultural Survival is supporting this goal with a three-year training program in community journalism and radio production to Q‘eqchi‘ and Mopan Maya in Punta Gorda, Belize and Guatemala.

To know more about this training, please read this article.

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