Indigenous People raise their Voices

For centuries the indigenous people and their culture have been discriminated against in Peru. This suppression has lasted until today, above all in the educational system and in the media. This is where the radio project of Pukllasunchis comes in. Together with schools and women’s groups it produces bilingual radio programmes in Quechua and Spanish. By using the radio programmes in class children are taught in an interactive and creative way and induced to deal with the indigenous world view. The radio broadcasts the bilingual programmes created by the children and the women’s groups. Thus indigenous knowledge and Quechua find their places in the media.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Peru

School in Tiracancha, Peru: José interviews Dania. Dania explains in Quechua the meaning of water in her everyday life, in her village and in the indigenous vision of the cosmos. The interview is later broadcasted on the radio.

Her classmates complement Dania’s story. They wear costumes to slip completely into their roles as frogs. The children choose the contents of their broadcasts themselves and implement their ideas in a very creative way.

Dania lives in Tiracancha, a little village in the Peruvian Andes. Mountains, rivers, corn and all of nature have a very important meaning here.

At home, Dania speaks Quechua with her parents and siblings.

At school, Dania and her classmates listen to bilingual programmes of other classes and regions. After the radio transmissions they discuss different aspects, themes and customs. The broadcasts are an important basis for the teachers to offer intercultural lessons.

Classes in Dania’s school were mainly held in Spanish up to now despite the fact that Dania and her classmates speak Quechua with each other and at home. Thanks to the radio project the teachers use both Quechua and Spanish in most of their lessons and integrate indigenous knowledge into their teaching.

Students and teachers present their broadcasts to the parents. The students regularly make interviews with members of the community while producing their radio broadcasts. Therefore the school is better taken note of by the parents and the community and plays a more important role. As a consequence the children’s school attendance has increased.

Victoria Hualla und Segundina Arroní are live on air today. Victoria Hualla has been educated as a radio speaker by Pukllasunchis. For her broadcasts Victoria Hualla involves the inhabitants of Santa Rosa. The broadcasts are in Quechua.

Victoria Hualla is part of a women’s group in Santa Rosa. In her broadcasts she gives an important voice to the women of Santa Rosa. This year the group has chosen to focus on the protection of the ecosystem of the Andes in their radio transmissions.

Victoria Hualla lives with her husband Alipio and their two children close to Santa Rosa. As a radio speaker Victoria is often out and about. Alipio is very proud of her job and her engagement in the women’s group.

Emiliano Ramos is telling a story from the Andes in the recording studio of Pukllasunchis. He is 76 years old.

Ysabel Palomino Gutiérrez, radio speaker and co-worker at Pukllasunchis advises Mr. Ramos how his story could sound better. Raul records the story and generally puts the final touches on the sound recordings of the children and the women’s groups.

The next radio programme is completed. Ysabel is handing over the recordings to the broadcast station Santa Monica in Cusco.

Local and regional radios broadcast the programmes of Pukllasunchis. Pukllasunchis has an agreement with different broadcast stations in the cities and in the country.

Alejandro Flores Guerra is the director of the broadcast station Nueva Vida de Tiracancha.

Pukllasunchis produces the programmes “Sisichakunaq Pukllaynin”, “The Antplay” for kids and Quiñi Quiñicha, “Hot and cold” for adults.

The programs of Pukllasunchis are very popular in the cities as well as in the country. At Ms. Marcelina Paukar Puna’s market stall in the centre of Cusco the programmes are broadcasted every day. The clients are enthusiastic about the programmes of Pukllasunchis.

The broadcasts also facilitate the work on the fields. Mr. Ipolito Huanaco can now listen to his favourite broadcasts in his mother tongue. In addition he appreciates the information about agriculture in the programmes of Pukllasunchis. He gets to know how farmers in other regions of the country cultivate their land.

The broadcasts of Pukllasunchis are also regularly listened to at work on the salt terraces. The radio still plays an important role in Peru. Especially in such remote areas it is the means of communication people use to keep informed.