Periodismo y derechos humanos

So many great things have happened since my last post!

First, my presentation to the high school students giving a general overview of human rights went very well.  I tried to make it interactive, asking them during the presentation to select three from the list of 30 human rights outlined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  I then asked that they discuss why they chose the rights that they did and how they have seen each right violated in their lifetime.  The students all had relevant stories, some drew from current events and others from their own experience.  The Argentinian human rights coordinator helped me explore some of the major human rights violations that occur daily in Argentina, such as the lack of access to public services, the illegality of abortion, and the effects of government corruption.  Overall, it was a success!

Second, I think we really made a breakthrough with sexual education at Soaje.  Last night was our third "Taller de educacion sexual," in which we taught the girls about contraceptive methods.  After a brief presentation about contraceptive methods and where to obtain free birth control, condoms, and pregnancy tests, we passed out bananas and condoms so we could teach the girls how to properly use protection.  All the girls participated except for one and the girls who did participate enjoyed doing the activity, amidst many giggles.  After the workshop, one of the girls told us that she was really interested by our sexual education workshops and that they were very helpful for her.  She then opened up a little to tell us about her story: she had been violated sexually at seven years old, which led her to experiment with drugs and harm herself.  She has since gotten much better now at fourteen, in large part due to the environment and people of Soaje.  It was incredible the horrors she had been through at such a young age.  This was very emotional for us, and I felt very validated in the work that we were doing.

Third, I've started work at 88.3 Radio Nativa in Unquillo!  It's a fun, young environment in which we discuss current events on a local and national level.  I've already spoken on air several times, about my work in human rights, about Argentina's tight economic situation, and a bit about my experiences so far in Argentina.  It's exciting to speak on the radio, although I definitely get nervous!  However, I feel that it's forcing me to better my confidence and fluency speaking in Spanish.  I have also conducted street interviews, the first about the dangers of young teens using the internet to talk to strangers, and the second about an upcoming auto race rally.  It's been really fun so far-- the first day I mentioned on the air that I liked chocolate and the next day a listener brought me some!

I had an interesting conversation with one of my coordinators about the significance of the media in Argentina-- apparently, the government subsidizes free HD televisions for those who cannot afford one.  The reason for this is that the government recognizes that many of Argentina's newspapers speak out angrily against the government whereas the television can be regulated more easily to convey a certain message.  I keep this in mind when speaking on air-- media-filtered information is a powerful tool that can shape the thought and action of a large group of people.


Also, I spent this past weekend in Mendoza in what was definitely my favorite trip here so far!  Mendoza is famous for beautiful mountainous landscapes, horses, and wineries.  We even went sledding!

It's also interesting being here during Argentina's economic trouble (This article provides a good overview)-- this morning my street was blocked off due to an angry demonstration.  If Argentina's government does not come to an agreement with New York courts by today, the country will default for a second time since its economic crisis, resulting in--among other things--further devaluing of the peso, inflation, and deeper isolation from the global market.  It will be interesting to see how things play out here after today.



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