Across the entirety of Latin America popular movements are rising to fight for their right to a decent standard of living, a safe environment, and the preservation of their cultures.
    Most lack the funds and resources to print their own newspapers.  In outlying areas, most don’t have computers.  Many even lack telephones.  What dozens of communities across Latin America do have are low power FM broadcast stations, giving voice to people who otherwise would be totally cut off from any form of media communication. 
    Local grassroots media outlets played a pivotal role in defeating the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela where the corporate broadcast media has done everything possible to vilify and neutralize Chavez.
    At numerous gatherings including the 2003 “Tidal Wave” media convergence in Cancun and the 2005 World Social Forum,  media activists and organizers of popular and indigneous movements from Mexico and Central America and South America expressed an urgent need for many more radio stations to flourish throughout the continent - and beyond.
    But for a small amount of money ($1,000 to $1800 for a complete station package) to purchase transmitter equipment, many more community stations could go on the air right away.  Or $7000 to $8000 to conduct a 4-5 day radio camp training session in any given country, leading to the establishment of ten 40 watt radio stations at an average cost of $700 to $800 per station.  (The money spent to leaflet and poster for a single national anti-war march in the U.S. would fund the installation of dozens of such small stations.)
    Community radio makes a tremendous difference in places where other forms of media are non-existent.  A community in Honduras, for example, recently put a 50 watt FM broadcast station on the air for the first time. “La Voz Lenca” serves this rural Honduran population currently under government repression by alerting people with reports of threats and calls for action.  In Oaxaca, Mexico, a group of teenagers are currently using a portable loudspeaker to broadcast bilingually in Spanish and Mixtec.  An FM transmitter would give their programs a much greater range.
    What emerged from our conversations with media activists and community organizers was a decision to join forces with the growing number of people in Latin America who see radio as the preferred medium by which to educate, organize and voice their concerns, both local and global. Toward that end, we need to:

    • Raise money to put as many broadcast stations on the air as possible
    • Increase the number of people who have access to broadcast equipment & know-how. 
    • Open regional facilities where people can build, test and repair their own transmitter.
    • Empower as many people as possible with the skills, knowledge, technology and ability to establish their own means of communication.
    • Organize a conference somewhere in the Americas to train and unite grassroots and community radio broadcasters.

    To accomplish these objectives, we need your support and involvement in this new project.  Sponsored by Free Radio Berkeley, Project TUPA’s goal is to empower people and communities in Latin America with the means to make their own media and hear their own voices.  Free Radio Berkeley has assisted in the setting up of FM broadcast stations in Mexico, Haiti and other countries since 1994.
        For detailed information on the need for community radio stations in Mexico, go to the documents page for a series of interviews conducted at the Tidal Wave Media Convergence in Cancun, Mexico.

        Your support and donations will enable communities throughout the Americas to empower themselves with their own means of communication.  Click on the donation link. All contributions are tax-deductable.

    Project TUPA
    Free Radio Berkeley
    1442A Walnut St., Suite 406
    Berkeley, CA 94709

    email: freeradio(at)riseup(dot)net

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