María Fidelina Cutzal Yax trained as a Community Advocate three years ago, participating in WJI’s intensive leadership training program to become an educator and mentor to women and girls in her community. Building on her role as a leader, Maria recently started her own radio program to disseminate information about COVID-19 in her community. Maria’s story illustrates the power of local leadership and the possibilities when we invest in the future of women and girls. Here is her story:
My name is Maria Fidelina Cutzal Yax, and I am from San Lorenzo, Guatemala. Three years ago, I trained as a Community Advocate with the Women’s Justice Initiative.
This program allowed me to increase my participation in my community and opened doors for me to reach more people. I am currently developing a community radio station called “Voz de la Trompeta,” which reaches communities in Patzun, Sololá, and even other countries with Guatemalan migrants.
In Guatemala, those who live in cities and have access to social media possess greater information about the pandemic. However, in villages like where I am from, the population lacks a lot of information, especially in our language, Maya Kaqchikel. Being an active citizen in my community, I have personally taken the initiative to provide information in Kaqchikel about COVID so that our people in rural areas have the basic knowledge needed to face this pandemic.
As a Community Advocate, I have been able to form relationships, including with WJI, which gives me access to information from official sources. I have been taking this information and disseminating it in Kaqchikel through a collaboration with the radio station, playing my part in serving my community during this challenging time.