Voces de Cambio recruits groups of indigenous and non-indigenous girls to participate in a fifteen-week writing and photography program to investigate one central question: What does it mean to be a woman in Guatemala?
The program participants meet for two hours twice per week. Voces de Cambio implements all of its programming using a well-designed curriculum that is based on an open-inquiry and participatory approach to learning.
An exploration of how women are portrayed in the media
Self-directed research and writing project on themes such as security of women in Guatemala, sexual harassment, participation of women in art, images of women in the media, profile of a woman in Guatemala, and youth movements
Photo-essay on “a woman I admire”
Production of a public service announcement related to gender equality
Exercises in interviewing techniques and story-writing
Basic photography techniques (camera use, composition, color); how to tell a story using images
Following the fifteen-week writing and photography program, a public exhibition of the participants’ written and photographic work is held at a local venue. The exhibition generates a public dialogue about issues of discrimination, racism, and machismo, thus broadening the program’s impact and positioning Voces de Cambio as a central figure in the movement toward women’s equality.
In July of 2006, following a six-month community planning process, Voces de Cambio launched a 15-week Pilot Program in writing and photography with seven teenage girls. The seven participants gained an awareness of the present and potential roles that women play, or could play, in Guatemalan society, and learned to tell their own stories. The more introverted participants developed the confidence to express themselves, and the more outgoing participants learned to “share space” with others. They all developed a significant level of trust with each other, and each learned to express their opinions while respecting those that differed from their own. The group was diverse, allowing participants to cross social and economic lines, an opportunity rarely encountered in other contexts.