In 2013, the Global Voices Aymara team was awarded one of the Innovation Grants to try something new. The project called “Lingua Airwaves” sought to repackage GV posts into an audio format for radio listeners in El Alto, Bolivia. Many of the 1 million or so residents of the city are of Aymara origin. Even though they speak and understand the language fluently, a large percentage only can read and write in Spanish.
The central idea was to convert existing GV articles into a radio format suitable for the radio. Another consideration was that additional context or explanation was needed for an audience that may not be as familiar with world current events or technological references.
Working with an Aymara radio journalist, Norma Barrancos, the GV Aymara team wrote scripts and recorded the audios using handheld digital audio recorders. The audios were then edited using the Audacity software. Norma guided the volunteer team with voice exercises, including tone, pace, and projection.
The resulting product is 19 audio podcasts each featuring a specific GV article, which was translated into Spanish and then into Aymara. Below is a playlist of the 19 podcasts, some which have already been broadcast on Radio San Gabriel, a partner of GV Aymara. The next phase of the project is to burn the audios onto CDs, where they can be distributed to different radio stations, educational institutions, and other potential partners.