This is the final day of taping Mexico City and this afternoon we go to Lima, Peru. Learned about a radio station in the Indigenous communities of Otomi, Nahuatl and Kepehua that has been operating for 35 years. The story of the radio having become integrated as a social, cultural sytem, or organ, of the community begs for research. If you are a scholar, this is where your service is needed, for it is a goldmine of a model, I think, for what human-based communications systems can do and be.
Radio Huayacocotla (Radio “Huaya”) operates on short frequency 2390 kh.
Community residents use it as a backbone for airing issues, celebrating community events and staying in touch with each other.
The New York Link
The radio station serves as the telephone system of the community with New York City. Although the Otomi had not migrated before, about five years ago the food shortage and economic deprivation became so great that young men began to migrate to New York City to work, then return home and sustain their families. Radio Huaya is the way that the young men in the Bronx and in Queens call their families. They place a call to the radio station and leave a detailed message for their family. Then the radio station broadcasts the message to the community.
Otomi who were in New York used this system to call Radio Huaya and tell their families that they were alive. One of the callers also said “The Americans now are frightened, they are for the first time frightened. Pray for them.”
Radio Huaya does not have a website. For more info write to Harriet Paterson, a journalist who is collaborating with the radio.