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Aug 19, 2013

Nuestras Voces al Infinito

This past month, our sister organization CHIRAPAQ released Nuestras Voces al Infinito, a short film exploring the lives of two Indigenous women who are making a difference in their communities as radio broadcasters for Voice for Justice. Leónidas is a sheep herder from a remote community in the Andean region of Peru. Paquita studies early childhood education at university and is from a Shipibo community in the Peruvian Amazon.

Leónidas starts her day at dawn, cooking soup and potatoes for her family. After her daily work she goes to the shack, which serves as a radio station, and begins her broadcast. Since becoming involved with Voices for Justice, her commitment has never wavered. She firmly believes in the importance of communication for Indigenous Peoples and has dreams for her future and that of her community. Leónidas hopes that one day her family will be able to move to a nicer, cleaner community, and that younger generations will continue to speak Quechua and maintain the cultural traditions of their ancestors.

When Paquita was first offered the chance to participate in the weekly radio series, she was unsure of what to say. Today, she contributes with confidence, sharing lessons learned from her classes at the university and speaking with pride about Shipibo culture and other topics of interest to her community back home.

The radio program has benefited not only volunteer broadcasters like Leónidas and Paquita, but their listeners as well. Parents report that their children are listening and learning, and in the words of Paquita, “today, I see many youths that are no longer marginalized or ashamed, because they have understood that who one is and how one lives is something that no one will ever be able to take away”.  The voices of these women “flow like rivers and move with the wind…rising from Mother Earth…they are one with the universe”.

Their voices are infinite, and infinitely powerful.

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Yifat Susskind

New York, New York United States

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