A couple of articles appeared on the Internet this week about community radio in El Salvador. From IPS there is an article about Radio Mangle which has just started broadcasting in the Bajo Lempa region along the Salvadoran coast:
After years of challenges, Radio Mangle finally began broadcasting this week to over 200 communities in the area known as Bajo Lempa, in the municipality of Jiquilisco, in the south of the province of Usulután.
“This is a historic moment, the result of years of hard work and social pressure,” radio presenter Mario Martínez, coordinator of the Mangle Association, which developed the project, told IPS. As of Jan. 14, the radio station is broadcasting on 106.1 FM from the community of Ciudad Romero, in the El Zamorán district of Jiquilisco.The IPS article describes the constant battles which the community radio movement has had in El Salvador, where commercial radio stations have usually managed to dominate radio frequency auctions and prevented community radio from getting licenses. Radio Mangle was able to get its license only through the help of the Funes government assigning a license of its own.
Another of these community radio stations is Radio Victoria. The SHARE blog describes a recent visit to this radio station in Ciudad Victoria within the Cabañas region. The station, which has been serving its community since 1993, is currently an active participant in the country's anti-mining movement.
I have met with the workers at a number of community radio stations in the country. They are truly dedicated to providing a public service on a very local level, dealing with everything from disaster preparedness to threats to the local environment. Hopefully the stations will be able to survive and grow.