Saturday, October 16, 2010

Radio Ati in La Prensa

Original Aritcle written by Carolina Escobar Sarti in la Prensa Libre.

The function of a Radio station

"When you think of News and Media, we think of Guatemala City and mostly don’t see the importance of supporting the development of local media.

That while people come here from all over the world, many different artists, information for the “Revista Ati” was never lacking, just space," said the journalist Lucia Escobar (not my relative but I once said I would not mind at all sharing blood with this ‘patoja’) for an interview with the magazine ‘Newsroom’, where they discussed the weekly ‘Radio Ati’ magazines, transmitted from the Jucanya neighbourhood", in Panajachel, Solola.

Whenever a natural disaster like the storm Agatha passes, or something that deserves to be reported in that region, the whole world calls to those, who are already recognized as professional communicators (with a social vision).

Logo - Radio Ati
Therefore, this radio magazine is born out of the need for communication and information specialized in cultural, ecological and social issues from a local perspective with a global projection: From Atitlán to the world. Some people want to do well in Guatemala and there is a need for people to be well informed so what better than combining both.

Lucia says, "Radio Ati is the poor version of ‘Revista Ati’, and last year in October when it came to the cyanobacteria, advertisers went into a crisis, we could not continue printing the magazine."

To avoid losing force we decided to try a cheaper format, the radio. We also thought that with an environmental crisis the interest in information is the highest, so our informative work should continue."

The production of Radio ATI stands on four themes: freedom of expression, indigenous culture, art and ecology. "Our aim and dream," says Lucy “is to someday make Radio ATI available on local radio stations, not only the Internet because our work is important to be heard on a local level. It should last, because information and communication are extremely important to achieve structural changes to the lake and its ecology."

Every Wednesday Radio Ati publishes an online magazine, broadcasting throughout the week, at the following pages: in Central America: www.eco-book.net; in Guatemala: www.elperiodico.com.gt; for people at lake Atitlan: http://www.atitlancommunity.com

In addition to the objectives mentioned, the will and clarity of vision they have, one of the fundamental values of this whole project, is what gives this group their strength. People, all with a deep awareness to the reality of life. They are a group of artists, journalists and communicators who live at Lake Atitlan, aware of the urgent need to unite and work for this body of water, with the same collective interests in that bit of the world and beyond, with non-traditional approaches.

During the four previous years they published 22 printed editions of the ‘Revista Ati’ magazine and made 17 "Festivalitos" (Art-festivals) in the Atitlán Basin, and supported various rally’s, schools and other events around the lake. Names like Pablo Robledo, Lucia herself, Joshua Aguilar, Juan Miguel Arrivillaga, Karla Olascoaga, René Denis, Gabriela Jimenez, Itziar Sagone, Rafael Olivares, Pat'za Volpi and others, support the effort.

"We always struggle not only because of environmental and economic degradation of communities around Lake Atitlan, but the culture. Something that always surprises us is that, having such a presence of artists in the region, there is no permanent cultural agenda, "said Lucia to ‘Newsroom’. "The presence of a large business community in the region with considerable difficulty perceiving the benefits of a strengthened cultural life, is one reason," she concludes.

This integral view of communication, linked closely to reality, is a bridge, the only perhaps, for us to get closer to truth.

bon voyage ‘ati radio’.

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Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
View of Lake Atitlan and volcano from my apartment balcony in Panajachel. Taken by Catherine Todd June 2008.