Covid-19 information for Amazon communities

Objective: Help Amazonian communities become aware, informed and prepared to face COVID-19.

For isolated communities, the radio is often the only means of communication with other areas. This project aims to continue informing the communities in the Peruvian Amazon about Covid-19 through the radio. The radio broadcast Bienvenida Salud is the most tuned-in program in the region, with over 3,000 episodes produced to date, broadcasted 3-times per week on local radios, community loudspeakers, and within schools.

The Covid-themed programs have been providing tips on how to stay healthy since the beginning of the pandemic. The content is prepared in collaboration with public health experts and epidemiologists and tailored to the context in which Amazonian communities live. The episodes are recorded in Spanish, Kukama-Kukamiria, Awajun and Bora, among other indigenous languages.

Gloria Guzman, teacher of the Kukama language, says Bienvenida Salud is the only way she has to learn about Covid risks and prevention: “I feel obligated to listen to the programs three times per week to get up to date [and inform my students]. On a daily basis, we are told how to prevent infection of ourselves, our family, and our community. The programs help to keep us in the community from dying. Our grandparents are motivated when they hear “Bienvenida Salud” in their own language, and teenagers and children feel valued because the programs are presented in their own language. The programs reach the farthest and most remote villages in their indigenous languages!”.

The radio show Bienvenida Salud is created and produced by the local nonprofit Minga. Minga is a quechua word that means “when all community members work together in a project that benefits everyone”. Minga is working toward sustainable change for indigenous women and their communities throughout the Peruvian Amazon, since 1998.

Learn more at www.mingaperu.org