Voice of Elections in Guatemala

author: Mark Belinsky
date: 2011-10-11 17:07:13+00:00
slug: elections-in-guatemala
title: Voice of Elections in Guatemala
wordpress_id: 3413

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Guatemala is a country with a complicated history. Although the 36-year civil war has ended, Guatemalan society is still struggling to rebuild from this history of war and ethnic conflict. One opportunity and challenge is the need to engage young Guatemalans, many of whom continue to be marginalized from political life. Participating in elections is not only a gateway to further civic engagement, reporting on elections offers an opportunity for the voices of youth which are rarely heard to help shape the national dialogue.


On September 11, 2011, Guatemalans went to the polls to vote in a presidential election. Who exactly was voting? Although 70% of the population is under the age of 30, historically very few young Guatemalans register and vote in national or local elections. The same holds true for indigenous women, who represent 20% of the population, yet hold a scant number of government seats. A pressing question is whether historically marginalized Guatemalans can find a way to engage in the elections process. How might participation levels change if young & indigenous Guatemalans are engaged on civic issues, and empowered with the journalism skills to report their views on the electoral process, before, during and after the actual voting day?


VOZZ is a youth-driven election project which empowers young Guatemalans with the information and training they need to be citizen reporters throughout the pre- & post-election period in Guatemala. Named by youth in crime-ridden Guatemala City, Vozz captures the spirit & voice – voz – of young people to share election stories from 50 municipalities throughout the country, creating lasting ties of civic engagement. They’ve been producing lots of content which is getting translated into three languages, including Kaqchikel.

Together with Kara Andrade, the HablaGuate team and an amazing coalition of local partners, we had the pleasure of developing curriculum and providing materials and strategy to this important initiative. Our initial work in Guatemala last year began with youth from a remote town called “Lancetillo”. The Project Einstein youth we worked with in that initial training reported, shot, and produced slideshows and then exhibited their work in La Antigua, Guatemala. This podcast of theirs also does a good job of detailing the work.


Vozz’s trained reporters are currently working on replicating their project in their own municipalities, including Mazatenango, Patzún and Zacapa, in preparation for the second round of elections on November 6. Stay tuned to Vozz.com.gt for their reports!

http://youtu.be/7yPpEnFmjS015 de septiembre 2011 ZACAPA – De por sí sabemos y ya es costumbre esperar que en cada época de elecciones todos los candidatos se adueñen de nuestros lugares públicos para poner supropaganda y dañar el ornato de nuestras comunidades,Pero también como es de esperar la publicidad que se pegaron en postes y piedras ya no vuelven a estar como estaban pues usan materiales altamente difícil de quitar y estos se quedan allí hasta que el ambiente los descompone o hasta que lleguen las elecciones nuevamente y vuelvan a colocar nueva propaganda sobre ellos… Read more.